When you get your new home, be it bought or rented, it is always a great idea to have the locks and keys changed and install a peephole in the front door. Just to be on the safe side. In the case of rent, you might still have to leave a copy of the keys to your landlord/lady.
Here are 10 additional security measures you could take to reduce your risk of getting robbed or attacked at home:
1. Never allow strange or unfamiliar people into your house who appear out of the blue for unauthorised and unexpected reasons.
2. Don’t hide valuables in the usual places like under the bed. Such places are likely to be the first places thieves and burglars are likely to check. Also, do not keep valuable documents like deeds, large amounts of cash and such in easy to access places in the house. If you must have them at home, consider a safe that is strong, secure and not very conspicuous. Also, do not keep your valuable items in places where they are easily visible from outside the house.
3. Don’t leave your phones, car keys or even house keys, laptops, tablets (digital) and game consoles out in full view or near open windows. Robbers like easy and valuable targets they can grab and carry. A thief may be deterred from getting in and picking them up, but a really determined burglar would only need a strong adhesive at the end of a long stick which they would extend through the bars of your windows till they stick to an object of value (car keys, phones, etc.) and pull it out again very quietly and with little risk to them.
4. Most times, people who succeed in robbing you are people that live close to you or have details about your movements. To minimise the risk to you, avoid telling local shopkeepers and sales people about your travel plans. However, you may let a trusted neighbour know when you won’t be home so they can take care of watching over your house in your absence.
5. Avoid showing cash in public when unnecessary. It may be as innocent as a wad of cash showing over the top of your breast pocket. Some unscrupulous people may take this as an advertisement of your abundant riches and follow you home so they can take their share of your fortune.
6. Try to make unauthorised access to your home as daunting as possible. Thieves and robbers can hide behind trees and shrubs. Trim back or remove any shrubbery next to doors or windows. If you must have plants, maintain thorny plants and bushes at the places of access like your windows where a thief might try climbing through. Also, Be sure your outdoor lighting illuminates all entrances to your home so they are always visible at night.
7. Lock your doors. Keep all doors and windows locked. It may sound obvious, but many robberies are actually not forced. Meaning that, thieves gain entry through your unlocked back doors and open windows. Windows and sliding glass doors should be secured with auxiliary locks. Special door pins can prevent your sliding doors from being lifted from their tracks during a robbery attempt. Also, if you have an alarm system in your home, don’t forget to arm it every time you leave the house or prepare to go to bed.
8. Pretend there’s someone at home. Draw curtains and leave lights on in different parts of the house to create the illusion there’s someone home. This will make a thief wary of approaching your house. However, this can be expensive as it may increase your electricity bill.
9. Do not leave ladders and tools like spanners and screwdrivers lying around. Most thieves are opportunity takers and are not likely to be walking around with the tools to break in or climb to a better accessible area of your house. Don’t make their work easier for them by providing them with tools.
10. Be your brother’s keeper. Be friendly with your neighbours and build some level of trust with them. That way, you have an extra set of eyes watching over your home and property and most importantly people who will be available to help you in times of distress if, somehow, a robber does make it into your house. You can let the neighbours know when you will be out of town so they keep an eye on your place. DO NOT ADVERTISE YOUR MOVEMENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA! That is how some thieves know when to make their move.