Guest Blog from Andy Palmer, Master Locksmith at Grays Locksmiths, takes a look at home security and offers his to tips on protecting your home or business, and comply with insurance requirements.

Below are 15 practical home security tips that you can follow to protect your home:

Keep keys away from the front door – This will protect you against the practice known as key fishing, where would be burglars try to reach keys with reach of the front door.

Install security lights with sensors at the front and rear of your property to make your property a less attractive proposition for burglars.

Remember to lock doors and windows whenever you leave your home and put keys in safe places in case of fire. Most insurance providers will stipulate that you must do this anyway for your insurance claims to be valid. They will also demand that your locks are British Standard Locks. To classify as British Standard Locks, they are tested for quality, reliability and strength offering customers’ confidence.

Store bins and ladders safely away to prevent them from being used to gain easy access to the first floor of your property.

Check your locks and fixings on gates, garages and sheds, and upgrade them if necessary to improve security.

Make sure valuables are out of sight and not directly in view from your windows.

Manage your post if you are away for periods of time – Ask a friendly trusted neighbour to collect your mail so that it is not obviously building up on your doormat.

Leave on lights or set lights on a timer inside your house when you are away. You may also want to leave on a radio or TV on or on timer to create the impression that your home is occupied.

Remove any objects from around your property that could aid break-ins. Avoid leaving bricks or tools within easy access.

Lock gates and side doors – This sounds obvious, but make sure that you lock everything to make it harder for would be burglars to gain access.

Don’t advertise your holiday on Social Media – Don’t post exact details of holidays before you go away. This will reduce the risk of your absence being noticed.

Consider investing in a safe for safe storage of high value items.

Keep side and rear boundaries high to make it harder to gain access.

Photograph and security mark valuables with your post code or use smart water to mark your valuables to make it easier to recover them should they be stolen.

Cut back trees and foliage – Over grown trees and shrubs that obscure the view of your property make it ideal for burglars to gain access without being seen from the road as they provide ideal cover.