Your house probably contains your most valuable possessions, so it makes sense to keep it – and them – properly protected. You might think that securing your home will be an expensive process, but there are a number of simple, inexpensive measures you can put into action to beat the thieves.

Adding security devices to your home will not only help reduce the chances of you ever having to make a claim, but also give you and your family peace of mind. Follow the tips below and everybody will be happy – except the burglars.

Secure your windows

A third of all burglaries result from a thief getting in through a back window – but even the simplest of window locks will help put them off. Locks make sure that the thief would have to smash the window, which many are reluctant to do as the noise attracts unwanted attention.

It is a good idea to fit locks on all windows, but particularly on all downstairs windows and those which are easily accessible from lower roof levels of flat roofs. French windows in particular can prove somewhat insecure and ought to be fitted with additional key-operated locking devices.

Have a look from outside; any window positioned by a drainpipe for example, is an easy target for an opportunist thief. And be sure to keep window keys out of the locks and hidden out of sight.

Something else to remember; never leave a ladder lying around on your drive or in the garden when you’re out. It makes even the most inaccessible of windows an easy point of entry for a burglar. Similarly, don’t leave garden tools out – they only help thieves force their way into your home.

Lock your doors

It’s absolutely crucial that your home’s front and back doors are secure. Both the doors and their frames must be sturdy and in good condition – any that are old, decaying or weak will need replacing.

If they are not already fitted, fit the doors with bolts and deadlocks. Make sure they are put to good use – far too many households do not use all the locks on their doors, believing a turn of the key to be sufficient. Fastening all the locks and bolts makes a door a lot harder to force open.

Patio doors can sometimes be a security weak point as they are not always fitted with a key-operated locking device. Multi-locking point systems designed specifically for patio doors (with at least 3 locking points) are recommended and can be purchased at most DIY stores.

When choosing and fitting new locks to your house, it is highly recommended that you approach an official member of the Master Locksmith’s Association (www.locksmiths.co.uk) for assistance. To find out more about locksmiths, and the different kinds of lock available.

Extra deterrents

  • Outdoor lighting, with or without motion sensors, is an ideal burglar deterrents. Unlit properties provide the perfect environment for burglars to sneak in and out unnoticed.
  • A burglar alarm visible from the street will also help put potential thieves off and if the property has a reduced level of occupancy, then a remote signalling alarm to summon keyholders or the police is recommended.
  • Remove any valuables from your window ledges. It is not advisable to tempt the thief into performing a smash and grab raid. Consider placing high value jewellery and watches in a safe if not being worn
  • Timer switches are an inexpensive and useful tool against burglars, switching the lights on and giving the impression that there is someone home even when the house is empty.
  • Don’t give a thief access to your home through the front door. Don’t leave spare keys under a doormat or plant pot where they can be easily found.
  • Moving to a new house? Change all the locks as soon as you move in, and keep track of who owns a key to your home.