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Guest post- Ten Simple Checks To Increase The Security Of Your Home Or Flat!

This post is provided by Matt Carrington.

Home insurance
companies care about where you live. They also care about how much effort you put in to securing your home
against burglars. Home insurance premium
rates vary across the United Kingdom based in part on crime statistics.  The more theft claims reported to home
insurance companies in a given post code, the higher the insurance premium is
likely to be. Individual homeowners can
increase their chances of getting a reduction on their premiums by taking steps
to up security levels at their homes or flats.

The Most Burgled Post Codes in the United Kingdom

An annual survey
analysing about 3.5 million insurance quotes to determine which UK postcodes
are most—and least—likely to make claims for theft in any given year, reportedin
2012 thatsome of the safest postcodes in the UK include:

Pembrokeshire’s SA62

Swansea’s SA9

Cumbria’s LA14

On the other end of the spectrum we find Leeds, specifically the LS13 postcode,
which suffered the highest number of break-ins reported to insurance companies
in 2012. Parts of London and Bradford
follow close behind, though. Here are
the top four riskiest places for burglaries, according to recent research:

1.       Leeds, LS13

2.       Bradford, BD12

3.       North Finchley,
London, N12

4.       Manchester, Eccles,

Residents in these ‘hot-spot’ postcodes pay about an extra 20%--or £30
per annum—for home insurance. Check out the next section of this article forways
to improve home security – not only will you rest easier at night, you may also
qualify for a discount from your home insurance company. If you are looking for
a new policy you can compare providers at

10 Simple Checks to Increase the Security of Your Home
or Flat

Coming home to find
a window broken and your home burgled is utterly terrifying—anyone to whom it has
happened will confirm as much. Even more
terrifying are what the Americans love to call ‘home invasions,’ a burglary
that occurs when the homeowners are at home.

When asked
directly, most people will tell you that home security is very high on their
list of personal priorities.  However, if
you ask the same people what specific steps they take to keep their home
secure, you may be surprised to discover that many of them neglect one or more
of the following simple actions that can greatly increase the security of your

1. Use approved locks on all doors and windows. 

Check with your home insurance company, which should have a list of
locks it recommends for use in homes and flats for the best security.Use only
mortice locks on doors—no other type of door lock comes close to
the protection of a mortice lock. If your locking mechanism could be accessed
by a burglar breaking a pane of glass in the door or window, then you should
either burglar-proof the glass or install the type of lock that requires a key
to lock and unlock from the inside as well as the outside.

2. Fit a burglar alarm system. 

To find a reputable company, check
the directory of companies registered with the
Security Inspectorate
. These alarms are usually more expensive than
DIY installation alarms, but you may find you get a reduction on your home
insurance premiums. What is the best
type of alarm? The loudest, shrillest
one. If you can, hide all the wires of your system if it is not wireless, to
discourage burglars from looking for wires to cut.

3. Join a neighbourhood watch scheme. 

Residents in towns throughout the
United Kingdom partner with the local constabulary to create and maintain
Neighbourhood Watch organizations. As
many as 10 million UK residents identify themselves as members of a local
neighbourhood watch scheme. For
information on your local NHW, check
or ask at your
nearest police station.

4.  Never leave
the house.

Just kidding, but make it look as if you never leave the
 You can purchase inexpensive
timers to turn lights and televisions or radios on and off when you are away,
even for a day or evening.
  Setting up a
‘someone’s at home’ façade is an especially good idea if no one is regularly at
home on weekday afternoons, which is a popular working time for burglars.

5.  Light up the

Install motion
sensor lights at all entrances and along sides of the house without an
entrance. Be considerate of neighbours
and check that the lights are not shining right in to someone else’s home. Check that lights are working properly a
couple of times each year.

6.  Get a real
or fake dog.

Barking dogs—indeed loud noises of any
kind—are a burglar’s worst enemy. Even a
small but barky dog can be an excellent burglar deterrent. If a dog does not fit in to your life, shop
around for
motion alarms that emit loud barking sounds instead of a traditional alarm
sound. You may also consider posting
‘Beware of Dog’ signs whether or not a dog is actually on the premises.

7.  Tend your

Survey the outside of your home or flat and
eliminate any likely hiding places. One
fun way to do this is to play a game of hide and seek with your kids or a
neighbour’s children. Trim any trees or
shrubs that offer hiding places. If a
child can hide there, so could a would-be burglar. It is especially important to keep trees,
shrubs, ornamental grasses or anything else from obstructing a view from the street
to your front door. A Neighbourhood
Watch scheme would not give you much benefit if none of your neighbours can see
your front door to keep a friendly eye on it.

8. Secure the windows. 

In addition to standard window locks, consider a side
lock that prevents the window from being opened more than a couple of
inches. If your home or flat has a
sliding glass patio door, use a piece of pipe or wood to secure the door by
placing the piece of pipe into the middle of the bottom track.

9.  Frost or
cover your garage windows.

If a burglar can not tell whether you are home, your house becomes a less
appealing target than the house down the road with a clearly empty garage. If you park on the street, try to vary the
location of where you park rather than always parking directly in front of your
home or flat.

10. Buy the numbers.

Replace your
house number if the existing ones are small, dark, or otherwise difficult to
see from the street. You want police and
other emergency vehicles to have an easy time of finding your house if it
becomes necessary.

After performing
these checks, you will rest assured that you have done much to enhance your
family’s security. Also, make sure to
let your home insurance company know of the enhanced security at your house or
flat—you may be rewarded with discounted premiums!

Home Security During Vacations

Other than
installing a top-of-the-line home security system complete with wireless
cameras that allow you to check on your home from your beach chair, there are
simpler steps you can take to keep your home safe while you are away for an
extended period of time.

caution when announcing your travel plans to the great, wide open internet, and check that your children do the same.

a stop on your mail and newspaper delivery, or ask a very trusted friend to
make a daily pick-up. Even if you do
hold your mail and newspaper, ask a friend to check every other day for any
flyers or door hangers.

the timers for your lights and timers to replicate your utility usage during
evenings and weekends. Just leaving one
little light burning is rarely sufficient to deter a burglar anymore. Purchase timers so that lights and
televisions go on and off in different rooms at different hours of the day and

a neighbour to put out your rubbish bin and put it back in place after pick-up

you will be gone for an extended period, hire a landscaping service to keep your
garden looking tidy.

a trusted house sitter or pet sitter.

Living through the
experience of one break-in is enough for anyone to know they never want to go
through the experience again. By taking
some extra security precautions, hopefully you can prevent a home burglary from
ever happening in the first place.

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Write by: AN - Thursday, November 14, 2013

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