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We should all feel safe in our homes, but the reality is that thieves are always on the look-out for their next target.

Security screens and doors, like the Crimsafe range, will give you peace of mind when you are away from home, and can also add a decorative element.

But it’s not just physical deterrents that can improve your home’s security.

In addition to installing a monitored security system and deadlocks or other key-operated locks on all windows and external doors, there are many common-sense steps you can take to reduce the chance of a break-in.

You can lock your electricity fuse box to deter thieves who might turn off the power in the hope of disabling an alarm system. (You can get special locks from a locksmith that will still allow your meter reader access.)

External doors should have solid cores and a security door where possible. Grilles or shutters will make it harder to enter via a window. Always lock all windows and outer doors when you go out, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Many burglaries are enabled through unlocked doors, and thieves know to target homes at key times like school drop-off or pick-up.

Don’t leave a spare key hidden outside the house, and never leave a note saying what time you will return if you are going out.

Ensure you have a good quality lock or padlock on your shed and/or garage, and don’t leave items such as ladders and tools out in the yard.

Don’t fool yourself; your “secret” hiding place for valuables is probably going to be found by burglars. If you have valuable collectables, jewellery or other irreplaceable items, consider installing a safe that is anchored to the floor.

Many insurers also recommend keeping an inventory of valuables. If the worst does happen and your home is burgled, it will help with an insurance claim. It could also be easier to get back special possessions, such as family heirlooms, if you have photographs. Ideally, a detailed digital inventory with photos could be stored in the safe as well.

Make sure trees and bushes around windows are trimmed so they don’t provide cover for thieves.

Sensor lights in key outside areas are inexpensive and can alert you to the presence of an intruder, or deter one from going further. Make sure you never leave an unlocked car in the driveway, as it can also be burgled or even stolen.

If you are going away, you can have your mail held or ask a friend or neighbour to collect it. You can also set timers on lights and radios. If you are going to be absent for a few weeks or more, get someone to mow your lawns and put your bins out.

Taking the time to secure your home means you will feel safer whenever you go out and you and your family will be protected when you’re at home.

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