When the weather is warm, we naturally open more windows and doors and spend more time in the garden. But this means we make ourselves more vulnerable to opportunist thieves.
A little bit of common sense and vigilance goes a long way, though. Here are six quick tips to keep your home and garden secure while you enjoy the weather.
Never leave a door or window open that you can’t keep an eye on. It’s an open invitation to intruders, and even if you have a good home insurance policy, the insurer might refuse to pay out if there was no actual physical break-in.
If you want to leave bedroom windows open at night, install restrictors so that they won’t open wide enough for someone to climb through.
If you’re spending a sunny afternoon in the back garden, you’ll have to spend the whole time listening out for anyone approaching the front of the house. Alternatively, you could outsource the job to a smartphone-connected camera.
Even with your windows and doors closed, any valuables you leave on display can be incentive enough for an intruder to break in. Car and house keys need to be kept well away from doors and windows, and expensive electronics should never be left just a smash and grab away.
Thieves often target garden sheds because they tend to contain valuable tools and are relatively insecure. Throw a wrench in the works by swapping the screws that secure the hinges and locks with tamper-proof versions.
One-way, hex-head and Torx screws require special tools to remove, which a casual burglar is unlikely to carry.
If you’re going away for an extended period, a visible build-up of mail on your doormat tells burglars your home is a soft target. Give a key to a friend, relative or neighbour who can collect it all and store it for you.
Alternatively, use Canada Post’s service, which holds on to your letters.
Give would-be intruders the impression you’re still at home by installing timer switches on your lights or, better still, use wifi-enabled light bulbs you can control remotely using your smartphone.
If you’re using your phone or tablet in the garden over wifi, make sure you secure your router, or else anyone could piggyback on your connection and sap your bandwidth.
Worse still, malicious users could hack your network to see what you’re doing online, and potentially steal your personal and financial details.
No matter how careful you are, you need a decent home contents insurance policy as a last line of defense. If a determined or cunning thief does manage to steal from you, it means you’ll be able to claim for your losses.
Original article written by Mark Hoosen for MoneySuperMarket.com
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