Your summer home security checklist

We’re hoping for a good summer this year, but we can’t control the weather so we’ll just have to make the most of what we get. Barbecues need cleaning, there will be jobs to do in the garden like sanding down or painting furniture, washing patio furniture cushions and figuring out how that big umbrella works. There are also security jobs that need doing around the home, and we’ve put together two lists for you, one that can be done on a rainy day, and one for a sunny day so you can make the most of your summer in safety.

Rainy day checklist:

• Check and replace (if needed) the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If they are broken, or you don’t already have them in place then a trip to the DIY store is in order. Make a list of what you need, including any batteries and bulbs and take the chance to get this sorted out on the same day.

• Go round all your windows and spray a little WD40 in the locks to stop them seizing up. If there are windows you don’t open often then open them up and get some nice fresh air in. This airs your property and keeps the mechanisms working. Check each window lock has a key and that it’s somewhere handy, but not too obvious. Blu-tacking them under the windowsill works as they’re not on display but still to hand when you need them. While you’re at it, you may as well lubricate the window mechanisms and door hinges inside the house – a squeaking door hinge can alert you to an intruder, but it’s more likely to be an annoyance.

• Clear out any cardboard boxes, packaging and other unwanted items and take them to the tip, or at least pack them into the car ready to go on a nice day. Make sure you turn boxes inside out so they’re not advertising any valuables by mistake.

• Call your alarm maintenance company and schedule a service and check-up. It’s vital you keep these in working order not just because they will protect your property when you’re away, but because not having proof of service and maintenance could invalidate an insurance claim. This could ultimately end up costing you thousands more than the cost of a service visit, so don’t think you’re saving money by skipping this. If you don’t have an alarm, get in touch with us and we can work together to build you a system that fits your needs.

Sunny day checklist:

• Make sure security lights are active and the sensors are pointing in the right place. This is a job for just before you go inside as you’ll need some darkness to make these checks.

• Check round the perimeter of your property for points of weakness or cover that burglars could exploit. Prune back shrubs and bushes, and keep an eye out for any trees nearby that could be used as access. A tree surgeon can remove these natural ladders.

• Walk around the outside of your property and see what you can glimpse through the windows. If there are valuable items in clear view consider moving them to somewhere less obvious so they don’t attract opportunists.
• Check the security of your garage and any outbuildings or sheds. Even small garden tool storage sheds are a target, as thieves can sell on leaf blowers and lawn mowers quite easily, and they can use ladders or other tools kept inside to gain access to your house. A padlock is a must if there is no actual key lock for your shed or garage.

Print this checklist out and keep it ready for you to make these quick and simple checks that could make all the difference in the long run.