Seymours

Rental Home Security Tips To Keep You Safe And Sound This Winter

As the clocks go back we, unfortunately, see shorter days, darker evenings and colder weather. As a result, the risk of home burglaries has been seen to increase – leaving us with the task of securing our properties. With insurance claims peaking, it is never too late to implement some new winter home security tips. Taking precautions now will benefit you through any season. There are some good habits you should get into which can prevent break-ins or at least deter burglars.

Whether you are a homeowner or letting a property – you should be taking the same amount of care to secure your home. From properly locking doors and windows when you go out or up to bed, to getting burglar alarms fitted inside and out – there are actions you can take. Each of these tips will get you started with a different level of security depending on your budget and how far you want to go. 

Firstly, let’s take a look at what you can do within your rental property. This often means dealing with measures already put in place by the landlord or doing what you can with a limited allowance. 

winter home security tips

Clear the driveway

If you feel comfortable, ask a neighbour if they could clear your driveway of snow when they do their own. If not, a nearby family member may be willing to pop around every couple of days to make it look like people are still moving in and out. This way, it is less noticeable that you are not using your cars or even opening the doors to leave. Alternatively, if you are renting you could contact the landlord. If they live close they may be willing to check the property while you are away and keep it looking lived-in. Winter Home Security Tips When Renting

Without having to install new systems or rack up high energy bills from leaving lights on, there are still things you can do. First, think about making your property look occupied at all hours of the day. 

Someone is always in (even when they aren’t)

If you have a holiday planned or are popping to your friend’s for the weekend – it can become obvious that no one is overseeing the property. Especially in the winter months. When the snow begins to build up and mail doesn’t move from the letterbox, passers-by and potential burglars can become familiar with unoccupied buildings. This is when it can be advantageous to make friends with the neighbours!

winter home security tips

Lock up tight

This may seem obvious – however, over 30% of burglars enter through the front door! This just goes to show that many people overlook this basic practice. Be it because you think you live in a safe area and have a neighbourhood watch community or simply forget every now and then – it is something everyone should get into the habit of. Before you leave, check that every external door and window is sealed. Then double-check your front door before heading off.

Use a safe

While you will usually feel comfortable leaving personal items and valuables in cupboards, it could be worth going a step further for those really important items. Burglars will go straight for jewellery and electronics so placing them in a safe will give you peace of mind should the worst happen. Any extra precautions like this will make the burglar’s job much harder and give you extra time for neighbours and passers-by to notice something is wrong. Furthermore, insurance companies often offer discounts to those with a safe which will benefit you and your landlord!

winter home security tips

Don’t post plans to social media

While it can be tempting to make friends and family jealous with status updates and photos on the plane, it can turn your property into a target. Don’t forget that many times friends of friends and people you don’t know well can get hold of your social media information. This puts your location and plans to leave the house unattended in the hands of potential burglars. So, try and hold off from the holiday pictures until you return, or send them privately to people you trust.

Test your alarms

Every rental property will have smoke alarms and if you are lucky enough to have CCTV or burglar alarms – they need to be checked regularly. With people firing up their ovens for turkeys and stuffing, the 25th of December sees the most significant spike in fire-related claims. It should go without saying that alarms should be checked at every point in the year, but with these winter home security tips – it’s extra important to double-check as it gets colder.

Actions For Landlords

Renters can’t always go to the lengths they deserve to be safe in your property. This means there are a few winter home security tips that you can take on board before you get new tenants or upgrade the house this winter. Firstly, it is important to understand your tenants’ rights and why it is important to provide a safe environment. This blog of ours explains more.

Alarm Systems  

Today’s alarm systems can be very high tech and offer all the features that make a burglary nearly impossible to carry out. Depending on your budget, you may want to do some research beforehand to find out what will fit your property and give you the safety you want for your tenants. 

 

 

Also, don’t forget to check the smoke alarms if your property has been empty for some time. Every time a new tenant arrives, they should be sure the alarms are in working order. A carbon monoxide detector also won’t go amiss for extra precaution and can be installed easily alongside existing alarms.

Check The Pipes  

Ensuring pipes aren’t frozen or cracked will mitigate the chance of water damage which could lead to more serious issues. Mould, damp and other harmful substances could get worse over the winter months if external features aren’t looked after and well maintained. Advising the tenants to keep heat flowing through them during the winter can help protect the plumbing and keep your tenants warm and cosy!

Similarly, guttering often gets clogged after autumn with leaves and moss. It is well worth clearing these or ensuring tenants do the same to keep leaks and drainage problems to a minimum. Any issues like this could lead to collapsing gutters, loose tiles and falling debris which then becomes a hazard in itself.

winter home security tips

Light It Up 

As a property owner, it is your job to ensure fixtures are working and in all the right places. As it gets darker earlier, we suggest having well-lit entryways to make them safer. You can get automatic external lights for fairly cheap nowadays that detect movement. These are great for coming home in the dark as well as for deterring intruders. Lighting up the front door gives the property a more welcoming feel during the cold months too.

Alternatively, you could opt for manually activated lighting that runs on switches within the house. This allows the tenant full control over when they go on and switching them off during the day. This can help with energy bills and make an empty property look occupied! This goes for back or side doors too as people will often scope out a dimly lit garden to find places to get in.

How Seymours Estate Agents Can Help

We worry about keeping ourselves warm, but these winter home security tips will help keep your whole property safe and secure. Whether you are a homeowner, landlord or tenant – it is up to you to do all you can to keep up with good habits and deter burglars. Simple practices like locking doors, windows and keeping valuables out of sight are things we can get complacent at. However, they are all great ways of making the move to a more secure property.

winter home security tips

With over 30 years in the area and plenty of experienced agents, the team at Seymours can offer advice and professional services to assist you in the whole process of finding a house, selling, moving in and securing the whole place. If you’d like to get in touch, you can fill in our contact form or call one of our 20 dedicated branches here. We’d love to hear from you!