Breaking Myths Around Home Security

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As National Home Security Month begins, we’re clearing up some of the long-standing myths around home security. We know that knowledge is power and being well-informed on the best defence against break-ins will lead to safer communities and lower crime rates. 

Here are a few popular myths we’ve busted surrounding security that will help you keep thieves locked out and your family safe.

Myth Leaving the outside light on can help scare potential burglars away.

Busted! It would appear to be a good idea to light your house up like Santa’s grotto but that isn’t always the case.

Leaving a light on all night can actually light up the way for a burglar, making it easier for them to break-in. ONS reported that three-fifths* of burglaries take place during the evening or night, so installing a motion-detection light will potentially startle the intruder and help prevent a break-in.

Myth Having a deadbolt fitted can do the job of keeping burglars out.

Busted! Many standard locks or deadbolt locks can be kicked in or broken into.  Doors such as French doors can be particularly vulnerable. Take extra precautions by updating old locks and ensuring all locks are up to BSI Kitemark Standards.

For a smart way to lock your door, the Yale Conexis L1 smart lock is now BSI Kitemarked after undergoing rigorous testing and is an excellent and extremely secure alternative to a standard lock.

Myth A home alarm is all that’s needed to protect your home.

Busted!  A good home alarm can help keep your family secure and may even lead to a discount in your home insurance (check with your insurance provider).

The problem occurs when people switch off their alarm system when at home or when popping out for a short time. If the alarm system is off, your home is not protected, so it’s essential to keep your alarm on – even when you’re in. The ONS reported that in over half of incidents of domestic burglary in a home where an offender gained entry into the house, someone was at home at the time*.

Smart alarms are very useful for those who forget to switch their alarm on, as the alarm can be activated or deactivated through the smartphone app.

As a failsafe, try and have a mix of security measures around the property. For example, a camera monitoring the front or back of the house will capture any unwanted guests and new locks, which are BSI Kitemarked, will all provide added protection to your home.

Myth It’s best to not have an alarm and just have friends and family visit when your away for long periods of time. 

Busted! There are many different alarm systems available, to suit every need and lifestyle. The variety of alarms available include:

  • Bell-only alarms– these make a noise but don’t contact anyone once activated.
  • Telecommunicating burglar alarms– automatically dial the contact number listed when triggered, whether it be the homeowner, family or friend.
  • Smart home-security systems –contacts you or family members when the alarm goes off, through a smartphone or tablet app.
  • A monitoring contract– you pay a company monthly or annual fee, whereby a keyholder of the police are contacted to take action if the alarm goes off.

Myth Having a large dog provides enough security for a home. A modern home security system isn’t needed.

Busted! This may be true, a large dog would scare off any unwanted visitors, however, some burglars are desperate or malicious enough to carry a handgun, knife or mace with an intent of harming a pet or homeowner.

With additional security such as a home alarm system, both you and your pet need not worry about pets triggering the house alarm as many alarm systems are equipped with ‘pet-friendly sensors’.

Myth When you live in a Neighbourhood Watch area, there’s no need to have home security.

Busted! A Neighbourhood Watch strategy to prevent possible break-ins is a good programme.

The success of these programmes often relies not only the number of individuals being on the lookout for possible burglars but also the time they would have available to provide neighbourhood surveillance.

It is beneficial to be part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, as research suggests areas covered by Neighbourhood Watch can expect to experience 11% fewer crimes*, however additional security systems in homes work as excellent visual deterrents and could also be beneficial to the rest of the neighbourhood.

Myth Home security systems are too expensive. 

Busted! It is often thought that home security systems are expensive to purchase and install, however with developments in technology, more reliable Wi-Fi and easy to install products are available.  So, without the need for professional installation fees and with lots of options available to suit every budget, having a security system in place is now more cost-effective than ever before.

Myth It’s not possible to have a home security system in an older property, it’s too difficult to get it fitted.

Busted! Many homeowners seem to be under the impression their homes are too old to provide the right features needed for a high-tech security solution. However, this isn’t necessarily true.

Using a combination of wireless technology and professional wire runs, technical specialists can install a security system in virtually any type of property, regardless of size or age.

Myth Modern home security systems are too complicated and difficult to use.

Busted! Security systems and home alarms are getting simpler and more intuitive to use. Many alarm systems are designed to be easily installed and simple to set up and use, making them accessible to all.

Myth As most burglaries take place during the night, there’s no point in having the security system on in the day.

Busted! The majority of household burglaries occur during the daytime, on a weekday when most people will be out of their homes at work.  ONS results revealed around 70% of domestic burglaries take place during the week and two-fifths of domestic burglaries in homes take place during the morning or afternoon.

Myth Play it safe and move to a quiet, rural area – rural areas are safer to live in than city areas.

Busted! This can sometimes be a common misconception. It was revealed that the small, quiet Warwickshire town of Henley-in-Arden is the UK’s burglary hotspot, with proportionally more break-ins than anywhere else*.

Myth Home security systems don’t work if the power goes out.

Buster Many smart security alarms don’t reply on Wi-Fi or power supply anymore and is linked to a radio frequency. If the internet connection is lost to the main hub of the alarm, the smart functions of the alarm system via the app are interrupted, such as the remote access and management however the security element of the system remains intact locally.

Sources: ONS July 2017, Nottingham Trent University June 2019, MoneySupermarket 2018