One of the more difficult realities of being a home-owner is dealing with burglars. While we can cross our fingers it won’t happen to us and lock our doors, I’ve learned that locks only keep honest people out! And while a property inspector may assess the security of a property during a house inspection, security is something that you should keep on your mind long after you’ve moved in.
As we approach the busy summer season, many people are heading out of town to the beach and city homes will be left unattended. Luckily, there are a few things you can do that will not only decrease your chance of being robbed, but also make the whole insurance process easier if it does happen to you.
That pesky but important word – insurance
While we like to hope it won’t happen, if you are burgled you’ll want to make the insurance process as easy as possible. Insurers don’t go handing out their money willy nilly, so they’ll need proof for the value of everything that’s been stolen.
The easiest way to deal with this is to take note of the serial numbers of your belongings before they get stolen. Not every item will have a serial number, but big things like kitchen appliances and any bits of technology will. I tell my clients to take some time after they’ve unpacked their belongings in their new home to go round with their phone and take photos of any serial numbers. It’s a good idea to take a photo of any new appliances you get after you’ve moved in as well (particularly after Christmas!).
Doing this makes it easier for your insurance provider to pay out. Knowing the exact model of an appliance in particular means you’re more likely to get paid the exact value of your stolen item – and not some cheaper alternative. And while taking note of an item’s serial number doesn’t make it less likely to be stolen, it does mean police might be able to identify stolen goods and get them returned to you!
Securing your home while you’re away
The leadup to Christmas and summer is the perfect time to double check your home security. To make your home off-putting for burglars while you’re away, you should:
- Ensure your locks are all working correctly. Secure locks can definitely stop the opportunist burglar.
- Double check your security alarms are working correctly. Alarms stop burglars being inside for a long time – the quicker your alarm goes off the less time they have to rifle through your stuff!
- Consider security cameras in high risk parts of your property. While they won’t stop burglars, they can give the police helpful leads or a place to start.
- Download helpful tracker apps. If you’re an Apple owner, using FindMyiPhone or FindMyiPad might come in very handy (that’s how I ended up finding the guys who broke into my house!)
- Don’t advertise your absence. Think about how your home looks from the outside – closed curtains during the day are a sure sign for a burglar that people are away!
- Call on a neighbour or friend you trust to come round every now and again while you’re away and give the house some life – another way to deter burglars.
- For other security tips, have a look at one of my previous blogs.
Keeping security in mind long after your house inspection
There are some aspects of security a property inspector can pick up on in a house inspection – like locks and windows. But security is something you need to consider all the time, particularly when you’re away from your home on holiday. Taking the steps to make your home off-putting for burglars and preparing for if it does happen will save you a lot of hassle in the long run, as well as ensuring you can relax properly on any summer holidays!
Speaking of holidays, I’ll be enjoying my Christmas break and will be unavailable until the 4th January. I hope you have a happy holiday with family and friends, and look forward to seeing you all in 2021.