January is a popular time for those wanting to update their homes. Often in the new year we think about making changes to the appearance of our homes, either internal or external. But what about your home security?
It’s an area of our properties which is often overlooked, but when was the last time you updated your locks and latches? Although it’s not always at the forefront of our minds when it comes to home spruce-ups, it's an important element to consider nonetheless.
Right now, we’re spending a lot of time indoors during the day, so security is probably less of a priority. But eventually, we’re going to have to leave our homes for extended periods, whether for work, or even holidays (when it’s eventually allowed!). So why not take a look at your home security, ready for when you can spend a little less time indoors? Below are a few hints and tips to help you keep your property safe and secure.
Front Door/Back Door Locks
One of the most important elements of your home security is your external doors. This includes both your front door and back door. Be sure to check door locks and latches are working properly, even if they have been recently updated or you are in a newly built property. The key should fit snug in the lock and turn smoothly without any snagging or resistance.
It’s not just the lock you need to be concerned about when it comes to your external doors. Hinges should also be an important step in checking your home security. A loose hinge can render a lock useless when it comes to keeping your home secure from intruders. Be sure to thoroughly inspect your external door hinges are working without any problems. They should allow the door to open and close in a smooth motion. If they are squeaking, they may just need some oiling or adjusting. If your doors move of their own accord and this isn’t by design, this could also be a sign that your hinges need looking at.
Be sure to check your door handles are working efficiently too. If it feels loose or the lever is falling, you should replace or repair as soon as possible. If the handle requires a lot of effort to use when pulling down the lever, then this could also be a sign that you need to repair or replace it.
Windows are also another entry point that burglars can use to gain access to your property, so make sure you also check this part of your home too. Ensure they open and close with ease and the handle doesn’t stick. If the window requires a lot of push to open, this could be a sign that you need to look at the hinges or the lock itself.
Don’t Forget Sheds and Garages
Many often forget their sheds and garages when it comes to home security, making them a key target for burglars. Be sure to check your doors following the advice above, including locks, handles and hinges. A lot of older properties tend to have lower levels of security on their garage doors, so checking this area of your property is essential in keeping your belongings safe.
A Few Other Points To Consider
- Check when your home security was last updated. Even if your locks look OK, they may have been installed under out-dated regulations. If you have never made changes to your locks, the previous owners may have carried this out but it can be difficult to know exactly when this was. If you aren’t too sure, seek professional advice.
- Make sure that the work carried out on your home complies with current regulations. Door locks installed on exterior doors should feature the British Standard 3621 kitemark. This can often be found on the faceplate.
- You may be required to install insurance-rated locks on your property if your home insurance calls for this. Read the small print, as break-ins may not be covered if you have the wrong type of locks fitted.
- If you have a burglar alarm, check that it's working on a regular basis. You may not have used it much during lockdown, so be sure to check it often.
- Keep exterior doors locked as much as possible when you are in the house. If you are upstairs it can be easy for an intruder to enter without you noticing.
- Keys should always be kept out of view in a safe place. If placed near doors or windows, burglars can view these from the outside of your home.
For more tips and advice on anything related to door furniture, speak to one of our team, who will be more than happy to help with your query. Alternatively, take a look at our other blog posts for guides and news.