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April is Home Improvement Month!

This initiative takes place every year – in 2020 it was moved, just once, to September because of Covid – but now it is back to the April slot, and as the weather is getting nicer and things are beginning to open up again, it’s a nice time to think about ways you can improve your house.

Spring is always a popular time for home improvement, and this looks like it’s been a growing trend over the last year as we’ve all spent more time in our houses! Research done by B&Q shows the average Brit has spent a month out of the last 12 improving their homes, with garden projects being the top priority.

But as the weather gets nicer and we start to spend more time away from home as more things start to open up, have you thought about improvements to your security?

Burglary numbers plummeted during lockdown, which is a fantastic trend that we’d all like to see continue, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security (excuse the pun) – if you’re not going out often, you may not have paid much attention to your locks at all! How secure are they? Have you ever had them changed? If you don’t know where to start, the fastest way to improve your home is to make it properly secure. Not just locks, but fire safety, door integrity, ease of access and more are all things that make your life better. We don’t just change locks; we offer a whole range of services from security gates and grilles to supply and installation of home safes and even access control. If you’re thinking “well, I could just do that myself” in some cases you may be right, but in others it’s really important to use a professional – the Home Improvement Month website has a list of the pros and cons of both approaches.

Even if you’re staying in your own back garden, you’re probably using tools and garden furniture, equipment or toys that may be locked away or left out at night. How secure are your outbuildings? Does your shed lock, or is it just latched?

Simple security checks

You can perform your own simple checks just by going round all of your external doors, checking you still have the key (!) and that it turns easily in the lock. If you’ve got a multipoint locking system, open the door and check everything is smooth and nice. If you haven’t for a few years, give it a little spray on the door edge moving parts with a silicone lubricant or a spray grease, wipe off the excess, then work the handles a few times. If all is good and freely moving, close the door and lift to lock. If it all works nicely (no undue force!) then great. If it binds, or won’t (un)lock, then give us a call so we can come out and fix it before it breaks! Have a look at the cylinder or the edge of the lock in the door – does it have a BSI Kitemark? If not, it might well be considered vulnerable to the latest attacks. We can supply and fit cylinders that meet the required standard and will secure your home as effectively as possible.

Visually check your security. Just look around. Is anything easily climbed to get access to another room or a window? Is there a flat roof that could lead to issues? Do you have window locks throughout? All ground floor windows, especially wooden ones, should have some form of locking. In vulnerable areas, you might want to consider whether a security grille or gate might be needed. Has a tree grown up in front of the PIR light or security camera?

When to call in an expert

While there are plenty of security jobs you can do yourself, when it comes to your main external doors, it’s best to leave it to an expert. Your locks keep your valuables and your family safe, and burglars out. That’s worth more than the cheapest lock you can find off the shelf!

If you’re working from home now, and have things that contain other people’s money, or even just some of their data, you might well need to improve your security. The obvious solution is to use encryption on your computer, but if someone physically steals the machine, you might still find yourself in trouble with the Data Protection Commissioner, as well as from other professional authorities – legal papers, warrants, deeds, medical records and more all need special protection under laws designed to protect them! Plus, the downtime can be a nightmare.

Free security survey

Alexandra Locksmiths, as full members of the Master Locksmiths Association, can give you free security advice with no obligation, based on your specific property and individual requirements. We’ll highlight improvements you can make yourself as well as ways we might be able to help you.

Alternatively, if you already know what you want to do to improve your security, we’re happy to talk through it with you and give you a no-obligation quote.

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