How to secure your home without compromising on style

Sort it: Deter burglars with your choice of doors, windows, lights and planting – and no keys outside

Add recessed lighting beneath the eaves or fit LED lights into a path. Photograph: iStock

Add recessed lighting beneath the eaves or fit LED lights into a path. Photograph: iStock

 

Upgrade your locks

A simple way to enhance your home’s security is to replace older locks with more up-to-date, robust versions. Deadlocks are a great choice. They are one of the strongest types of locks available. By upgrading to deadlocks, you’ll be making it much harder for people to break into your home. Be careful about handing out spare keys, and don’t leave a key under a plant pot outside. It’s the first place thieves will look!

External doors

Your choice of front and back doors can make a substantial difference to how secure your home is. A composite door with a sophisticated locking system, for example, is an excellent choice if you’re looking to maximise home security. 

Introducing glass panels in your front door is a lovely feature and great for letting natural light into your entrance hall. But glass panels make your door less secure than a solid front door. Choosing laminated glass, which comprises two layers of glass with an inner impact-resistant membrane between the panes, will make the glass more difficult to break. 

Your choice of door handle will also determine how secure your door is. A handle with steel reinforcement, for example, will provide “jemmy resistance”. This will prevent a burglar from snapping the door handle, making it more difficult for them to gain entry. 

Many uPVC doors – particularly in the upper price ranges – come with high-security multi-point locking mechanisms, cylinders and handles.

Upgrade your doorbell 

Consider replacing your current doorbell with a video version that connects to your mobile phone or tablet – there are many brands to choose from. The Ring video doorbell, for example, lets you answer your door from anywhere using your smartphone. It’s easy to install, doesn’t require any professional assistance, and connects to existing doorbell wiring. The built-in two-way speaker lets you talk to whoever rings at your door. It’s a great alternative to an intercom system, easy to install and inexpensive.

Windows

Replacing old windows will improve the look of your home and make it more secure. Depending on your specific requirements, you will be able to choose from a range of locking features that can deliver protection from intruders. 

Choosing laminated glass will also enhance your windows’ security. Never leave windows open when your house is unattended or when you go to bed at night. If you like to sleep with a window open, choose a locking system that allows your window to be locked while left slightly open. 

Fencing and hedges

While hedges and fencing are great for making your home more secure and giving privacy, they mustn’t be so high that they hide your house completely. Trim any foliage or hedges, so you limit places for a thief to hide. 

If you do have a fence, make sure it is sturdy and robust. Gates are another great deterrent. If you have electric gates, consider installing an intercom with video that allows you to answer from your phone. Just like with the video doorbell, you’ll be able to answer even when you’re not at home and will be able to see who’s calling too.

External finishes and planting

Choose finishes and planting to deter potential intruders. Gravel driveways or paths, for example, can be a deterrent to trespassers as they are noisy when walked on, alerting you to any footfall. Plants or shrubs with thorns, such as roses or holly, are great to plant under windows or along boundary walls. These prickly plants will make it harder for intruders to gain access to your property or home.

Security cameras and alarms 

Installing an alarm system can deter burglars. Make sure the alarm box is visible on the exterior of your home. Security cameras also act as an effective security measure to put burglars off. Make sure you locate them in a place that is visible from outside your property’s boundary. 

Lighting

Lighting the front of your home is a fantastic way to create interest and make your home feel welcoming. But aside from the aesthetic benefits, lighting is also a great security measure.

Make sure any areas where a thief could gain access to your home are well lit and light any entrances. Fit lighting around your front door. Add recessed lighting beneath the eaves or fit LED lights into a path. Motion detection lights are also a good idea and act as a deterrent to prospective burglars.

Consider having internal lights that come on automatically. These are great if you are away as it gives the impression someone is home. Many options are available, like wifi-enabled bulbs that can be operated remotely from your mobile phone or simpler systems that work on a timer.

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