There are many ways you can secure your home to deter intruders and burglars, with CCTV, alarms and alarm monitoring, and automatic access control systems springing to mind.

Let’s look at a few other ways to safeguard your home.

1. Get a dog

Now this may not be the most practical solution for some, but pooches really are a natural deterrent for intruders. Additionally, dogs are also naturally protective of their territory as well as their owners so will be more than likely to raise the alarm should an unwelcome intruder enter the grounds or home.

If having a dog is not possible, then purchase a couple of large dog bowls to leave in the garden at the front and back doors. This will give the impression there is a big dog on the premises and a motion sensor activated barking dog alarm and signs can complement this.

2. Install organic natural defences

This is a simple but effective measure anyone can implement in their home. Planting thorny or prickly bushes near or under accessible ground floor windows will act as a natural barbed wire, deterring opportunistic intruders.

Additionally, covering pathways with gravel will alert the occupants, and the dog from point 1, to the presence of someone outside.

Trimming trees regularly will also ensure branches do not offer easy access to upstairs windows.

3. Install smart security lighting

Night time crimes are often committed in dark areas to evade detection, and installing lights at the front and back door, as well as other susceptible areas, will help to deter the unwelcome attention of intruders and even vandals.

Motion detector lighting and light sensors are simple to install and can also be used.

4. Audit existing defences

Conduct an audit on existing door and window locks and install higher security locks if necessary. Deadbolts and chains, while not 100% secure, will also help to deter opportunistic intruders as it poses an additional level of security for them to break through.

Think about the strength and thickness of your front and back doors. The older style solid wood doors will make kicking the door in much harder.

Speciality laminated security glass can also be installed on patio doors and windows.

5. Make it look like someone is home

Whether out for the evening, weekend or away on holiday for a longer period of time, you should make it look as if someone is at home where possible.

Get to know your neighbours and ask them to help out while you are away by collecting your newspapers and mail and by putting the bins out for collection. Alternatively ask a friends or family to help out.

Leave the curtains as you normally would and combine this with inexpensive timers that can be used to control lighting in the living area and bedrooms.

Do not leave spare keys on the property, for instance under the plant pot or mat.

Fire also poses a risk to property and its owners, so investing quality smoke and fire detectors and checking them regularly can also help in keeping your home safe and secure.

Photo: a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from epicxero's Flickr photo stream