Secure Your Home: Top Tips

Secure Your Home: Top Tips

Having someone break into your home is certainly not a pleasant idea. I live in a lovely area, with great neighbours (I’ve just moved and the community feel is phenomenal). I’d like to think that we are immune in this lovely place from criminal activity however you just never know. Making sure that you secure your home should be at the top of your list of priorities, whether you’ve just moved or not. 

At best, someone breaking into your home is likely to mean that you get cleaned out, and lose a lot of valuable belongings, and are forced to contend with the resulting financial struggle.

At worst, a break-in becomes a home invasion, and you or your loved ones are caught unawares.

Here are just a few basic ideas for how to secure your home, if you’ve recently been thinking about the fact that you need to do it, but aren’t really sure where to start.

Secure Your Home With Smart Tech

In the last few years, “smart technology” has exploded in popularity and sophistication, particularly in regards to the home. Many people, for example, adjust the lighting in their homes and set the thermostat via apps on their phones, now.

Of course, home security wasn’t left out of the smart tech boom. You can now buy outdoor security cameras to protect your property, that are integrated into doorknobs, and that send alerts and video clips to your phone, among other things.

There are plenty of different smart tech devices out there for home security – do a bit of searching online, and try to identify the tools that most appeal to you, and that seem like they’d be most useful. Our secure your home campaign already has this box ticked as we have a swanky security system installed. That doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels though!

Secure Your Home: Be Discreet

Put up net curtains for during the daytime, and thick blackout curtains at night. This is a very basic tip, but a surprising number of people, particularly in small and relatively peaceful communities, don’t observe it.

Here’s a pretty straightforward fact: if someone has it in their mind to rob a home, they are going to be significantly more inclined to rob your home, if they can easily peer through your windows from half a mile away, and identify every valuable possession you have.

As a general rule, you want to make it very difficult for people to effectively “case” your home, and see what you have inside.

For one thing, that means you should put up net curtains to obscure the view into your house during the day, and have thick blackout curtains that you can draw at night, to keep things invisible.

Don’t Advertise an Empty House

When you go away on vacation – or even just for an evening or weekend – you should make it as ambiguous as possible to anyone who might be watching, whether or not you’ve actually left.

If you post on social media that you are on your way out/on your holidays, you’re sending a pretty clear signal to anyone who might be watching that the coast is clear. Post your holiday pics when you get home! If possible, try to be a bit more discreet, and use timers to switch your lights on at regular intervals, so it looks like someone might be home.

In Conclusion

I love our home, despite only living in it for a relatively short time. The idea of someone breaking in horrifies me and so we have taken extra special measure to ensure that we are secure and that we feel safe and secure too. If you don’t feel the same way it might be a good time to review your home security measures and take steps to secure your home to a higher level.

Health and Home: DIY Awareness Campaign

At this time of year there are a number of campaigns about Christmas light safety, and reminders of what can go wrong when people take part in DIY around the home. DIY can have unexpected results. For example, when I was pregnant with my eldest (we’re talking 2006) I took it upon myself while home alone during maternity leave to gloss a door. No big deal, it’s a door, what could possibly go wrong? Put it this way, despite being super careful I somehow manage to paint the door, myself the living room carpet, the hall carpet, lino in the bathroom and the bath.

I put sheets down and everything so I’ve no idea what was wrong but needless to say it was a DIY disaster and that I am not allowed to paint anymore. On the upside I did manage to get a new carpet out of my misfortune…..

Some DIY disasters however are not so quickly and easily dealt with. Once more we as a nation are taking up our sandpaper, our paintbrushes and ripping back upholstery in a bid to make do and mend, to create bespoke pieces for our homes and to enjoy a spot of upcycling. I am a huge fan of upcycling myself. It saves money, it’s great to put your own stamp on things, it keeps things out of the landfill (the same reason I use Freecycle when I can) and it’s fun!

Judging however by the rising number of mesothelioma claims that have arisen as a result of home DIY, there is definitely a downside if you don’t know what you’re doing.

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According to data offered by Slater and Gordon Lawyers:

  • 33% of people surveyed are happy to upcycle old/antique furniture, yet only a tiny 1% would consider this an extreme risk to their health.
  • 45% of people surveyed would happily drill into walls, however only 5% of people consider this an extreme risk to their health.
  • A huge 48% stated that they were ‘not concerned’ about a health-related problem (e.g. breathing difficulties, nausea, skin irritation etc.)

While drilling, hammering and the usual DIY tasks are all of course potentially dangerous in their own right, what is causing the most concern to professionals is the fact that without knowing it many individuals are opening up old furniture which may well contain asbestos. Asbestos, as you might know may cause a number of health-related concerns if precautions are not taken when handling it.

A recent campaign which looks to open up people’s eyes to the potential for harm that comes from upcycling old furniture while not being aware of the risks is doing great things for spreading awareness. More can be found on Twitter on the #HealthandHome hashtag and via the handy infographic below.

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Don’t give up on upcycling, far from it! Just make sure that you stay safe while you’re doing it.

PS: I did not paint the carpet on purpose to get a new one. Just so we’re clear on that.

Thanks to Slater and Gordon Lawyers for the information and for running this campaign which will help keep us DIY fans safe.

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