The National Residential Landlords Association has given the sector five top tips to improve home security - marking October as Home Security Month.
The association says the National Home Security Month campaign has been running nationwide for seven years, and this year looks at issues such as alarm systems, making sure your property has sufficient lighting at night and door locks.
“Whether your rental property is due to be empty, or you just want to know some useful tips on how to keep your property safe and secure as the nights draw in, check out our tips” explains the association; it points out that its members can benefit from a five per cent discount on most items at B&Q stores.
1. Locks “Having a purpose built key safe is much more secure than the traditional key under a plant pot option. According to the organisers of National Home Security Month campaign, around five per cent of burglaries take place due to an unlocked door, but it could also be worth having a think about the locking system in your property. The Master Locksmith Association recommend that the first thing that should be done when purchasing a property is to change the locks as you have no idea how many keys may be in circulation.”
2. Fit an alarm “It sounds obvious, but fitting a burglar alarm and ensuring it works gives both you and your tenants peace of mind. Not only that, but burglar alarms can also act as a visual deterrent. You could also consider installing a spy-hole.”
3. Consider installing night lights “As it starts to get darker much sooner in the evening, you may also wish to consider installing night lights at the property. Make sure on inspections of the property that all the doors in the property are free from damage.”
4. Get smart! “Your mobile phone can now be connected to your home security system- so no more wondering if you’ve set the alarm, or even who could be at the door.”
5. Property empty for some time? “Consider setting timers on lights in the property and cancelling newspaper deliveries or asking neighbours to push any post through if the property is likely to be empty for a few weeks. This advice can be passed on to tenants once restrictions are lifted.”