As an Edinburgh locksmith I spend much of my time fixing problems with door and windows locks. At this time of year it is particularly important that these are operating properly. The long dark winter nights can make some home owners feel more vulnerable so it is important that your home security is given top priority. To get ready for winter here are some of my suggestions:
Check that all your windows (particularly those on the ground floor) can be closed and locked properly. If they don’t already have locks, you should get good quality locks fitted. Many insurance companies already make key operated ground floor windows a requirement of their home insurance policies.
2. Upvc Doors
Check that all your upvc doors (front door, back door, patio doors) can be locked and unlocked easily. If it is becoming a struggle and takes a couple of goes, it is worth getting them looked at. If you don’t, you may come home one night and find yourself unable to open the front door at all. It could be something as simple as the alignment of the locking mechanism being slightly out or perhaps a new locking mechanism or replacement upvc gearbox is required. Either way, these problems can be easily and affordably resolved by a good local locksmith.
Check that all your outbuildings (garage, shed, summer house) are secured properly with good quality locks on all doors and windows. Many home owners store valuable items in their garages and sheds. Gardening equipment along with barbecues, tools, bicycles and garden furniture can cost a lot to replace. Along with this, ladders and other tools found in a garage can be used by burglars to aid breaking into your home.
4. External Doors
Check that the locks on all your external doors are up to the job. I have had to secure many homes that have been broken into because the main lock was not substantial enough. All your deadlocks should carry the BS kitemark on the faceplate. If you are unsure, a locksmith will help you identify any locks that are a security risk and need replacing.
5. Spare Keys
Ensure that you have a spare key to hand. It is not a pleasant experience being locked out of your home at any time but in winter it will feel significantly worse. For this reason it makes good sense to ask a friendly neighbour to keep hold of a spare key for emergencies. If this is not possible or if you have teenagers who can’t seem to hold onto a key for any length of time, installing an external key safe might be a good idea.
6. Curtains & Blinds
Close your curtains or blinds as soon as it gets dark. It may seem like a little thing to do, but a potential burglar will draw much less attention peering inside the window of a property when it is dark outside. The cover of darkness also gives a potential intruder plenty of time to have a good look through the window to see if any of the items you own are of value. Likewise they will be able to assess if anyone is at home. Don’t make it easy for them!
If you are thinking of improving your home security this winter and would like some help, please get in touch or call Richard on 0131 353 0040