Tighten up your home security this New Year

The New Year is a time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make; dieting, saving money, exercising more frequently… The list of New Year’s resolutions can be endless, but there is one that is often overlooked – tightening up your home security.

Perhaps you’ve recently moved into a new property and have always meant to get round to changing the locks, but can never quite find the time. Or you’ve always wanted to fit a home alarm, but you feel a bit daunted by all the different options available.

January is also a time when opportunist thieves know there are more expensive gifts left on show, such as new iPads, laptops and jewellery that you may have received for Christmas. This means that they will be on the lookout for any ‘easy targets’ and unsecured homes will be the most attractive.

The good news is, there are some really simple steps that you can take to make your home more secure.

Changing the locks on all your external doors is a quick and easy job that will not break the bank. By simply upgrading the rim cylinder in your nightlatch, or the euro profile cylinder in a multi-point lock, you can be assured that your new home has the very latest security protection for added peace of mind.

Nightlatches are used on external timber doors and a good way of improving your security is by fitting a rim cylinder that meets the British Standard (look for the Kitemark on lock packs and the lock itself).

You can replace your cylinder by simply unscrewing the nightlatch, removing the existing cylinder and replacing with the British Standard version. All rim cylinders are a standard size, so you should be able to replace your existing cylinder easily.

If you have a PVCu or composite door, then you can upgrade the euro profile cylinder in your multi-point lock to a British Standard cylinder (again, look for the Kitemark on lock packs and on the lock itself). This is also an easy DIY job and will ensure the cylinder in your PVCu or composite door complies with the latest British Standard.

Another easy DIY job to improve your home security is to fit a wireless home alarm. As well as providing a visual deterrent to potential burglars, alarms are vital for alerting your neighbours. Security specialist Yale’s wirefree alarm kits are quick and easy to install and offer discreet protection for all types of properties, from flats to large family homes.

Lastly, dustbin collections over the New Year period are often at different times, so remember to take note of any changes and try not to put your rubbish out until then to avoid thieves canvassing which homes are the most attractive prospects. It is also a good idea to take the labels off boxes to avoid advertising your new presents to burglars who may be window-shopping in your street.