Top home security tips to protect your property

6 minutes

When times get tough, it’s common for crime rates to rise. Figures show that there were over 500 burglaries a day on average for the year ending March 2022– and detached, higher value homes can be a prime target.

To make sure your property is robustly protected and to reduce the likelihood of a break-in, there are a range of actions you can take. In this article, we’ll walk you through top home security tips from the perimeter of your property to inside your home.

1. Securing the boundary

Before attempting a break-in, most burglars will scope out a property to give themselves the best chance of success. Therefore, your home security needs to start at the boundaries of your property to make it as challenging as possible for a burglar to get inside your home, garage, shed, or any outbuildings.

Start by assessing the entry points to your land – where can people get in and how can you make it harder for them? If you haven’t already, make sure you:

  • Put up tall fences and strong gates across any part of your boundary that’s accessible from outside
  • Consider installing automated electric gates. These make it harder for anyone to wander uninvited into your property, as well as preventing any would-be thieves from driving a van up to your home.
  • Lay gravel on your driveway and around your home to act as a deterrent – it’s harder for burglars to get close to your home without being heard
  • Think about planting prickly or thorned shrubs around your perimeter to make it uncomfortable for anyone to conceal themselves or climb through
  • Keep any hedges trimmed so it doesn’t hide your property from view – burglars are less likely to make the attempt if they think they might be spotted
  • Add open trellis to the top of your fence to make it harder for burglars to climb over
  • Don’t leave any packaging for expensive items out with your recycling for long periods of time – thieves can get an idea of what they might be able to steal from checking out your bins

2. Securing the building

Once you’ve protected your boundaries, it’s time to consider how you can stop intruders breaking into the heart of your home. If you live in a high-value property, it’s likely you’ll own expensive and valuable items that are likely to attract burglars. Stopping them getting inside is one of the best ways to prevent the financial and emotional loss that comes with a break-in.

There are a range of measures to safeguard your home – both simple and high-tech. These include:

  • Making sure your intruder alarm bell box is clearly visible on the outside of your property to signpost to prospective intruders that your home is protected. You can buy dummy alarm boxes which may act as a cheap deterrent.
  • Installing CCTV around your property, covering entrance and exit points. According to the Which? survey, 46 percent of respondents said CCTV deterred them from a theft[1].
  • Fitting a smart doorbell, so you have complete visibility of people approaching your home and a record of any suspicious characters

3. Securing windows and doors

Naturally, an intruder will enter by the most vulnerable point of a building, particularly at the back of a property where they are less likely to be seen. Check your door and window security to ensure they comply with your insurer’s requirements. For example:

  • Check that your windows have key-operated locks, not just catches. Sash windows are particularly vulnerable. And don’t just check your ground floor windows. First floor windows that are above a flat roof or porch may also be accessible.
  • Most insurers ask for Five Lever Mortice Deadlocks and/or a lock to BS3621. If you’re not sure if your locks comply with insurer’s requirements, do call them to discuss.
  • Finally, consider upgrading your locks to those meeting the TS007 three-star standard. These locks are harder to compromise.

4. Home security in the garden

Your garden space and outbuildings could be as attractive to burglars as the main property, so they’re just as important to protect. According to the Metropolitan Police, sheds and garages are often more vulnerable to theft as they are rarely as secure as a home. Plus, they may contain tools that could help the burglar gain entry to your home, such as ladders or power tools. With this in mind:

  • Look into installing an intruder alarm specifically for your garage or extending your home alarm system to cover your garage and outbuildings, particularly if you keep vehicles inside – car thefts have risen by 29 percent in the year leading to September 2022. For more advice on vehicle security please read our article, Car insurance and vehicle security.
  • Make sure sheds or outbuildings have sturdy doors with Sold Secure locks, and fit extra security measures such as padlocks to doors, and grills or laminate sheets to windows
  • Anchor any sheds down so they can’t be lifted up for access, especially if you keep valuable items such as bikes and power tools inside
  • Install security lights around your garden, home, and outbuildings to make it harder for intruders to escape unnoticed. According to a survey by Which? over 20 percent of ex-burglars pointed to security lights putting them off a break-in.
  • Avoid leaving tools lying around in your garden, as these could be used to break into your home.
  • Consider buying a battery-operated shed alarm – they’re not expensive and can be effective at alerting you to a break-in
  • Remember to be extra vigilant in summer when it’s easy to leave windows, doors and patio doors open while you enjoy the garden. If you’re heading back into the house even briefly, always close up after yourself. An opportunistic burglar only needs a few minutes to grab something valuable.

5. Extra security inside your home

Even with the best of intentions, some criminals will still find a way into your home. And when you’ve invested in valuable items, whether jewellery, watches, antiques, or fine art, it’s important to consider how best to protect them when they’re inside your home. Here are a few measures you can employ:

  • Buy a secure safe to keep your most valuable items hidden from view and locked away when you’re not using them. Safes can come in a range of sizes at a range of price points but always ensure that you buy from a reputable company and that the safe is professionally installed. For more information on home safes read our article, Safety First – top tips for your Home Safe
  • Keep records of your valuable items – photograph them, record their size, and consider marking them with Smartwater or Selecta DNA. This means they will be more easily traced and recoverable, which could deter thieves.
  • Keep keys away from windows and doors – some burglars will use magnets to ‘fish’ for keys through openings such as letter boxes. If your car is keyless, it’s a good idea to store your fob in a metal box to block signals from transmitters and amplifiers, which have been used to exploit the security of keyless entry and drive cars. For more information on how to protect yourself from keyless car thefts read our article, Keyless car thefts and what you can do you protect yourself.
  • Think about installing wireless security cameras on the inside. There are plenty of options available for a range of prices, and you can connect the camera feed to your smartphone to receive an alert and live footage when it detects a human presence.
  • Remember that empty homes are a more attractive target so make sure you keep your home looking lived in, even if you’re not around. Put lights on a timer and leave the radio on when you’re away to give the impression the house is still occupied. Smart plugs and smart lights offer remote access to your house so you can control lights when away, and you can always ask a neighbour or friend to pop in and keep an eye on your property. For more information on how Smart technology can improve the security of your home read our article, Smart home technology and home insurance.

If you’re likely to be away from your home for more than 30 days, you may need to tell your insurer, as many policies will include an unoccupancy condition in which case you may need an unoccupied property insurance policy. If you’re planning to leave a property unoccupied for a prolonged period of time and would like to discuss security upgrades, we can introduce you to security companies and property management companies. It’s just one of the many benefits of using a broker. For more benefits, read our article: Why you need a broker for your home insurance.

The peace of mind that comes with proper home insurance

According to research, a home burglary occurs in the UK every 106 seconds. Even with the best security measures in place, some criminals are sophisticated and coordinated enough to break into a home regardless – and high value homes are among the most targeted. Making sure you have the reassurance of the right home insurance is paramount.

Here at Aston Lark, we understand the types of risks you face as a high value homeowner, and we’re here to help. From high value home insurance to properties that are left unoccupied for long periods of time to listed homes with non-standard locks, we will help protect your home. So, if the worst does happen, you can access the support you need to get back to normal as quickly as possible. To speak to us about your home insurance or home security call 020 8256 4908 or email


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