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Home security measures that won’t cost the earth

Home security doesn’t have to mean fancy surveillance systems, fingerprint access or laser traps. Some of the best ways to protect your home don’t cost any more than a little thought and planning.

And with burglaries still a problem in Switzerland, it’s well worth the effort. While the number of burglaries dropped by 7% last year, there were still 30,000 in total—that’s an average of three every hour.

So, here are 15 of the best ways to keep your home secure—none of which will cost you the earth.


1. Save holiday social media posts for when you get home

Sharing your holiday snaps might be doing more than just inducing envy—they could be advertising your empty house to potential burglars. If you absolutely must share what you’re up to while you’re away this autumn, do so privately with trusted friends and family.


2. Ask a neighbour to make it look like you’re home

If you’re going away, getting your neighbour to turn on the lights in the evening, park their car in your garage or in front of your home and collect any post or packages will all create the impression that you’re still around. If you don’t have neighbours (or you just don’t trust them!), consider investing in smart home gadgets so you can keep an eye on things via your smartphone while you’re away.


3. Hide expensive items and keys from view

Burglars will often window-shop before choosing their target. Don’t make it easy for them!


4. Check the exterior of your home for weaknesses

You’re so familiar with your own home that you can stop noticing the small details. Unfortunately, this makes it all too easy to overlook security holes. So, it’s worth taking the time to actively search for weak spots regularly. Another possibility is the following experiment…


5. Try to burgle yourself

Apart from being kind of fun, the best way to uncover security weaknesses is to get into the mindset of a burglar. Can you get it to your house without a key? While you’re at it, be sure to tidy up any messy areas you happen to spot in the garden. Not only will this advertise the fact that you’re home a lot, but it’ll also give burglars fewer places to hide.


6. Secure your doors and windows

This is so obvious that we often don’t think about it—which is exactly what makes it easy to forget. Whenever you leave the house, make a point of ensuring that everything is locked up.


7. Always set the alarm (if you have one)

It can be tempting to leave it off if you’re only going out for a little while. But burglars might be waiting until you pop out to make their move, and they can be in and out within minutes.


8. Pretend you have a surveillance system

The main job of an expensive surveillance system is actually to deter thieves, and the same effect can be achieved simply by making a burglar think you have one. Cheap dummy cameras or even a simple warning sign for a non-existent system can be enough to make a burglar think again before breaking into your home.


9. Secure anything that could be used to break into your home

Burglars sometimes use homeowners’ own tools against them. If you’ve got things that a burglar could use to get into your home, such as a ladder, it’s a good idea not to leave it lying around.


10. Inventory your valuables

If you’ve got a full list of everything worth stealing, the police will have a much easier time tracking it down should the worst happen.


11. Don’t put a spare key in a hiding place outside your home

Burglars know where to look. If you’re worried about getting locked out, leave one with a trusted neighbour or simply bury it in a random spot in the garden. Just don’t forget where...


12. Stay vigilant for people acting suspiciously

Burglars often scout out potential targets before they make their move. If you see anyone who could be doing this, take extra precautions and tell your neighbours. A favourite tactic of burglars is to pose as someone reputable and make up an excuse to gain access to your home. If they can’t prove who they are, don’t let them in.


13. Paint the handles of expensive tools

It sounds a little unusual, but burglars often avoid stealing things that can be identified easily.


14. If your door has a chain and peephole, use them

The only people who should be coming through your front door are people you've invited inside.


15. Store documents securely and shred what you dispose of

Today, data can be worth more than physical items! A burglar could, for example, use your passwords to hack your online accounts and wreak havoc. So, make sure that only you have access to your data and to shred all confidential documents before disposal. Even if burglars get into your home, they don’t have to get into your digital world too. Discover more about cybersecurity here.


Of course, no matter how careful we are, there’s always the small chance that a smart, stubborn burglar will get past our defences. That’s where household contents insurance comes in. So long as you’re covered, anything the burglar happens to get away with will be replaced at no cost to you. It could be the best investment you ever make!


Comprehensive protection for your home.