Renovating is the perfect time to upgrade tired old fixtures and fittings, and incorporating a few simple additions and alterations into your plans can give your home a whole new level of security.
Many older homes have doors that are designed more for appearance than strength, so including new doors in your renovation plans can make a huge difference to home security.
Crime prevention and home insurance bodies will tell you that most home invaders use a door to gain entry, so fitting new doors or reinforcing the strike plates on existing doors makes good sense from a security perspective.
Home renovations often include large glass windows designed to add more light or extend a living space into a conservatory or enclosed veranda. If you are planning such an addition, ensure they are made from toughened glass and aren’t located near doors. They should also have good locks, preferably keyed ones, and if they are of the sliding variety, security measures should be included to prevent them from being lifted out of their tracks.
Lock technology has come a long way since many older homes were built, so including new locks for all doors and windows in your renovation plans will make your home more secure for very little cost. Install dead latches on exterior doors and keyed locks on all windows, which can be locked at night and the keys removed and placed nearby, but out of reach of the window.
The addition of security screens can make older style doors and windows much more burglar-resistant, with higher-grade varieties such as Crimsafe being almost impenetrable to attack. Security screens allow you to leave doors and windows open in summer, and with the huge range of styles and colours available today, they can lift the whole look of your home for a modest outlay.
Grilles are another form of window protection that can add style as well as security. They need to be the kind with quick release catches on the inside however, to allow occupants to escape in the event of fire.
If your renovation plans include landscaping, make sure the design has security in mind.
Avoid situating trees or dense shrubs close to the house, as these provide cover for burglars.
Include good exterior lighting for your driveway and around your home, as this will also deter intruders. To save on electricity, you can make them motion-sensitive, so they only come on when they detect movement.
Another thing to remember with regard to security is that your house is much more vulnerable while the actual renovations are taking place. Doors may be unsecured or missing altogether, valuable tools and materials may be lying around and strangers such as contractors and suppliers will be entering and leaving your property.
Renovations should be conducted in an organised fashion and, if major structural changes are involved, carried out in stages so that only one area of your house is exposed at a time.
You should also inform your house insurance company when you undertake renovations, as any additional security features you add can mean a discount on your home insurance policy.