You’ve no doubt put a lot of love and effort into creating a home you can be proud of. It stands to reason you’d want to protect it as best you can. There are a number of ways you can do this, from locks to complete alarm systems.
Here we review four things to think about along with the likely costs of indulging in each.
There are many options here. The most basic will set a bell ringing if your alarm system is breached. This may frighten off a burglar but the police won’t be called. A better option is to pay for an alarm complete with a monitoring system as well. If the alarm is triggered, the company monitoring your home automatically checks it out and/or calls the police.
You can also choose from wired or wireless alarms. The latter are much easier to install and thus can often be done on a DIY basis. They’re usually cheaper to install even if you hire someone else to do it for you.
You can expect to pay an average of around £190 to have an alarm system installed. However it does depend on the type of alarm, the number of units to be fitted and where you live. A monitoring system usually costs £200 or more each year depending on the company you choose.
A safe is the ideal place to keep important documents, jewellery, cash and other valuables. However the cheaper ones are easy to break into. Look for one with a higher cash rating that can be bolted securely to the floor.
Prices range from around £30 for a basic safe that is easy to break into to hundreds of pounds (sometimes more) for a quality safe. Some even provide fire and waterproofing for a set length of time in case of disaster.
Sheds are vulnerable to thieves as they don’t need to go near the house to be able to steal from them. A good strong shed padlock will help secure anything you have in there. Make sure you opt for a strong hasp as well as a decent padlock, since a thief can break through the hasp and leave the padlock intact to gain entry.
Look for a padbar if you want something of excellent quality. They are priced at anything between £20 and £90 depending on quality and make. They are practically impossible to break through since there are no screws visible on the outside.
A lock is not necessarily enough to prevent thieves from accessing your home. For example some of them can be picked or bumped to enable easy access. Most insurance companies will provide discounts if you have better-quality locks fitted. This is because there is less chance you will be burgled.
While you can buy and fit your own insurance-approved locks it is preferable to hire a locksmith to assess the quality of your existing locks. They will know which ones offer the best quality you can have. For example you can opt for a 5-lever mortise lock from Chubb, or if you have a uPVC door then a good-quality cylinder lock with several pins present inside might be preferable.
As for price, this depends largely on the quality of the locks and also the fitting fee charged by a locksmith. It can also vary depending on where you live. Make sure you get quotes from at least three sources and expect to pay around £100 or so per lock for a professional to do the job.