Risk assessing your property is the more boring and less fun-filled part of maintaining a house and will cost you some money in the process. But like insuring anything, you’ll often end up making the money back when you realise these safety measures and investments put into place work in your favour! It’s also an integral part of making sure your home is secure as well as increasing its value. There are many factors to consider, some internally and some externally, but fear not: the mother of all risk assessment home guides is here to save you!
1. Research the crime rates
Firstly, if you’ve not yet moved into the property you’re looking to risk assess, we would heavily recommend researching the crime rates in your chosen area, as this will give you a rough guide on how careful you need to be when it comes to things like potential burglaries, damaged property and street safety.
2. Invest in your safety
Once you’ve researched the general crime rates in your area, then you can focus on putting practices into place accordingly. This can be through making smart investments such as putting security cameras into place, considering weaving some wired fencing in your garden bushes, making sure any cars or valuable goods on the outside of your potential house are insured and if you have children – consider their street safety when walking to and from school, giving them a small mobile, perhaps, equipping them with the necessary emergency contacts etc.
3. Check the safety certifications
While this may seem somewhat of an action of common sense, if you’re a first-time buyer and are confused on what to be looking for, how else would you know?
When signing the mountains of mortgage papers for your new home, you will be supplied with the most recent gas safety certification, which by the law of "The Gas Safety Installation & Use Regulations 1998 and 2018" – is in place to protect you and your property from being at risk of gas explosions.
As well as this, you’ll need to look out for the 2005 Regulatory Reform certifications, ensuring no electrical cords are frayed and protecting you from fire hazards. Without these certifications, you will be at a huge risk of accidents within your property as well as the parameters surrounding your property.
4. Ensure you have decent locks
Whether you’re locking up your council bins, your shed, garage, bikes and whatnot, make sure that you’re investing in good quality locks. Bike locks can be incredibly flimsy, with even flimsier fake-metal keys! So be sure to buy padlocks with complicated combinations on it. It doesn’t have to be the Da Vinci Code, but make sure it’s not a predictable combination of letters or numbers that people can generally guess!
5. Smart-décor is your friend
This can be small changes from ditching those old sheer net curtains and buying more modern, opaque blinds so that potential burglars can’t look into your home and decide to take your lovely new TV or the family heirloom sitting on the mantelpiece! This can be by shatter-proofing your windows by buying temporary vinyl coverings, or even trimming your lawn, giving potential trespassers less places to hide from your trusty cameras!
6. Going on holiday? Buy the camera!
You may be a person already owning your property and looking to increase its security. If this, is you, then good on you! Consider putting temporary measures into place if you will be vacating your property for a long time. For instance, this can be through the use of buying yourself security cameras – which come in a variety of budget-friendly options through Amazon and other means of technology. They are also very user-friendly, as most of them nowadays come with accompanying apps to monitor your home on whilst you’re away.
7. Remember that you can never be too careful
If you’re reading this guide and are thinking, ‘well I’ve owned my house for 12 years, what’s the problem?’ It will do you a huge justice to remember that although you may live in a cushty suburban area with the friendliest neighbours and beautiful scenery and so on – much like the news, crime rates are forever changing. It’s worth keeping up to date! Especially if you’re planning to vacate your property for long periods of time or you’re just wanting to protect your valuable assets.
Speaking of value, why not check how much your home is currently worth by requesting a free valuation on our website?
By Caitlin Stimpson