As the nights draw in, have you considered how safe your home is? Here are five top tips for ensuring your home is secure this winter:
1. Remove the spare key
Astonishingly, recent research from Admiral found that 20% of homeowners still leave a spare key hidden under the doormat or flowerpot. Removing these spare keys from UK gardens is the easiest thing you can do to help keep your home secure.
You may find your insurer queries a home insurance claim if a key is used and there is no sign of forced entry. Ask a neighbour to hold a spare key for you instead.
2. New home? New locks!
If you are moving into a new home, and you aren’t the first owner, consider getting the locks changed before you move all your worldly possessions inside. New homeowners have no idea who has a key to their house and there’s nothing to stop a previous owner from using a spare key to help themselves to your contents.
3. Going on holiday?
If you’re lucky enough to be going away, make sure you secure your home before you leave. Simple things you can do to deter unwanted visitors are:
- Ask a neighbour to park on your drive overnight whilst you are away
- Cancel regular deliveries for a week, for example, the milk
- Ask a neighbour to put your bins out on bin day
- Avoid sharing pictures on social media unless your privacy settings are tight
- Consider time switches for lamps and a radio
- Lock ladders away out of sight to prevent easy access to your home
4. Online shopping
Nothing says “I’m not home” more than a stack of Amazon parcels on the doorstep. As well as providing a signal for would-be intruders, online shopping delivery theft is also on the rise. The requirement for contact-free deliveries often means that a signature is not required, so parcels are left outside. Easy pickings for someone who wants your Christmas presents.
Here are some tips for reducing online shopping theft:
- Try to arrange delivery for a day in which you know someone will be at home
- Arrange to collect parcels from local pick-up points
- Create a sign asking delivery persons to try neighbours, and if unsuccessful, don’t leave parcels unattended
5. New technology
Smart home technology is a major sector for growth and innovation. For relatively little money (especially if you buy on Black Friday!) you can equip your home with some of the best home tech.
Amazon’s Ring brand produces some excellent devices for your home, such as alarms, cameras and even drones, helping to improve security and deter intruders. Of particular note is the Ring doorbell which includes a camera, microphone and speaker, giving you the ability to talk to anyone at your door from your smartphone, wherever you are in the world.
Did you know that you can see the crime data from your local area by entering your postcode on the Police UK website? Have a look, you may be surprised!
If your home insurance is coming up for renewal, we’d love to give you a friendly and personal competitive quote. Simply call our team on 01243 213642 to speak to a home insurance specialist.