Most of the time, whether we live in the busy city or a rural village in the countryside, it’s often easy to take the safety of our home and the valuables in it for granted.
It's often easy to become complacent about security but of course it's important to make sure your property is secure and your tenants are safe.
If you aren’t sure that you have everything covered to protect your property, insurance provider Total Landlord Insurance have provided some useful tips on ways to secure your investment and help put your mind at ease.
Your doors must be strong
Your door is ultimately the most obvious way into the property, so making sure that it’s secure from unwanted entrants is key.
Ensure that your doors are sturdy and strong by only using solid timber for wooden doors. Ideally, there should be a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock with an automatic deadlocking rim latch as well.
If you have a pane of glass in your door, the best kind of glass to use is laminated. Otherwise, the glass should reinforced with grilles or security film.
Aluminium and PVCu doors generally have multi-locking systems, so if this is the case with your property, tell your tenants to lift the handle, lock it with the key and then remove it – in that order.
Install shields in your Letterbox
Letterboxes aren’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of home security, but it is possible for burglars to try and ply keys that are either left in the lock or hanging on a hook. Even without success, this can still cause internal damage to your door.
To take action against this, make sure internal letterbox shields are installed. Also, tell your tenants to keep the keys out of the lock when they’re not being used – perhaps in a bowl safely located away from the door.
Use a viewer keep a lookout from indoors
Most front doors have door viewers so you can see who is knocking or ringing the bell, but it’s always good to make sure they’re in proper working order. If you have an elderly or vulnerable tenant, you could consider the options to increase the size and clarity of the glass if your tenant has eyesight difficulties.
If there isn’t a door viewer already in your front door, you should have one installed so tenants can be on guard if they aren’t expecting a guest.
Perhaps even think about installing them for any back doors in case there is suspicious noise in the garden and your tenant doesn’t want to bring attention to themselves.
Make sure your alarms alert
It goes without saying that burglar alarms truly are a top priority, as these are the most likely thing to ward of burglars and alerts your neighbours. Therefore, having them tested appropriately to make sure they’re working is vital.
Not only this, but making sure you have a new and updated burglar alarm system can also be important because if advanced enough, it will be able send a signal to police to let them know an emergency is taking place.
Windows are susceptible – use multi-looking
Windows are one of the most common routes targeted by burglars for property entry. Therefore, making sure they’re ultra-secure – i.e. not easy to pry open or left open in an empty house – is of imperative importance.
Make sure all windows within easy reach have multi-locking handles and install shoot bolts in the frames where possible. Alternatively, you use window locks that are key operated and surface mounted, but you should avoid this method with any fire escape windows.
Any uPVC or aluminium based windows should be secured with sealant, tape or clips.
Of course, remember to tell your tenants to make sure their windows are closed when no one is going to be home!
Security lighting can make the difference
If your house has noticeable security lighting, this lets would-be intruders know that you’re serious about home security.
Security lighting will make them more susceptible to being seen, more vulnerable to neighbourhood’s attention, and is likely to make burglars think twice about attempting anything foolish or illegal with your property.
CCTV – Scare off opportunist thieves and identify criminals
If you have the budget and want to go all-out with your home security, getting CCTV is the way to do just that.
Spend enough to make sure you get a high quality camera if you choose to shell out for this, because there’s little point in spending good money on getting CCTV just to have a grainy, unclear picture.
This should not only steer criminals away from your property, but also make it much easier to profile and arrest anyone should an unlikely intrusion or attempted burglary take place.
Safe and secure
If you follow the tips in this guide and carry out the actions you also feel are crucial to the safety of your tenants and property, then you can contently rest assured that your property is as secure as it should be.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and acquired some useful knowledge in the process. If you’d like anymore tips, check out our blog for monthly articles – all specifically aimed at helping and informing all fellow landlords in Scotland.