New technologies have been transforming home security, and as our capacity for surveillance only increases, it would seem that there is no safer time than the present. But, as we become more and more reliant on sophisticated tech to protect our homes, we risk neglecting some of the basic security measures that have been keeping us safe for generations.

A recent survey by Which revealed that people are starting to favour convenience over home security; based on a poll of 2,001 people by Laptops Direct, it drew attention to some of the most common ways in which people put their homes at risk:

  • 48% admit to leaving valuables in view
  • 42% don’t always set their burglar alarms
  • 31% don’t shut their blinds or curtains
  • 24% leave their windows open
  • 16% leave their backdoor unlocked

These statistics beg the question: is all this new security technology actually making us less vigilant about protecting our homes? And, if so, what are some measures we might take to mitigate the physical risk to our property?

New gadgets are shaking up our notion of home security, but certain old-school solutions shouldn’t be forgotten. Here are some simple security measures that you might have overlooked:

1.- Replace the front door

It doesn’t matter how many cameras you have inside your property, if someone can knock the door down, it isn’t protected. Replacing your front door with a high security door is one of the simplest and most reliable ways to ward off crime. And it doesn’t have to be an iron monstrosity. Wooden doors are actually suited to a high-security function, as they don’t weather and are easy to repair. Or, for a more modern effect, steel offers extra protection in combination with a chic aesthetic.

Custom made doors can provide the perfect fit and style. Whether you favour a retro look or contemporary flair, it’s possible to procure a door that prioritises security, but not at the expense of aesthetics. With additional features like stainless steel thresholds, triple hinges, hinge side protective pins and drill resistant plates also available, a high security door will help turn your home into a fortress.

2.- Make sure burglars can’t hide

Sometimes, the solutions to home security can be about simple logic, rather than technical innovation. You don’t necessarily need an automated drone to detect intruders. Which suggest a variety of practical measures that can make your home more secure. A well-lit house is more exposed, so outdoor lighting is likely to deter burglars. Or, even if poor illumination means that they can’t be seen, a gravel front garden might make sure an intruder is heard.

Little features that we might never consider in relation to home security can be important. High hedges can give burglars the perfect hiding place, so it’s a good idea to keep these relatively well trimmed. Furthermore, flowerbeds with thorny shrubs might be planted underneath lower-floor window ledges, or around the house in general, eradicating another potential hiding place.

3.- Find the right system

New technological security solutions can be seductive. They promise convenience, which can be particularly compelling for people in full-time employment. For instance, the Amazon Key will allow couriers to enter your home to deliver a package, whilst you watch from a smartphone. This new option, whilst it might make things easier, opens up a whole new range of security risks, not to mention privacy infringements.

For someone who’s out all day, certain security systems are essentially redundant. For instance, a bell-only burglar alarm is only effective if someone’s around to hear it. But monitored alarm systems will give an often-absent resident peace of mind about their home. These systems will notify either the alarm company or the police about an intruder, preventing the need to rely on attentive neighbours, who may not even be in themselves.

4.- Keep things out of reach

To decrease the likelihood of a break-in happening in the first place, there are certain measures (and measurements) you should be taking into account. Some of these suggestions are obvious—don’t leave window keys in reach of windows, for example—but can be surprisingly easy to let slip. If you chose to have a window pane in your front door, make sure it isn’t located within arms reach of the lock, and ensure it’s made with security glass. Similar considerations should be taken into account with the letterbox, which should be a clear 40cm away from your lock.

Perhaps we’ve overcomplicated our approach to home security in recent years. In an age of drone surveillance, digital locks and camera-operated keyholes, we’re neglecting some of the most fundamental, common sense steps we should be taking in order to protect our homes. Remembering the basics of home security is the key to keeping your house secure.

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