With security risks heightening considerably during home refurbishment and construction work, particularly if you are intending to vacate the property whilst works are being carried out, it is imperative that you put additional security measures in place to protect your home.

Moving home is an expensive business, not to mention stressful. However, with families growing and blending and children increasingly staying on at home due to challenges in getting a foot on the property ladder, there still remains a very real need for additional living space.

Extending outwards, upwards or downwards is therefore becoming an increasingly popular means for homeowners to obtain more room to live in. With the added advantage of added space leading to a boost in the value of a property, it is no wonder extending and refurbishing tend to be the preference for many.

So, you have started to plan your refurbishment or extension project. There is an incredible amount to think about, from which contractor to use right through to the finishing touches.

Whilst you will rightly be focusing on these aspects and everything in between, you should not overlook the importance of security.

Heightened Risks During Construction Works

With security risks heightening considerably during refurbishment and construction work, particularly if you are intending to vacate the property whilst works are being carried out, it is imperative that you put measures in place to protect your home. Insurers demand that you notify them of construction works being undertaken and any corresponding vacant periods. This in itself demonstrates the increased risks, which include security related threats.

With builders coming and going; doors, windows and side access being left open; high value construction materials on display much of the time proving a draw for thieves, and keys being handed from person to person, it is easy to see how security can become an issue.

So what measures should you undertake to protect your property during refurbishment work?

Choose Trusted Tradespeople

It may sound obvious, but one of the most important moves you can make in the name of security is to choose a contractor you can trust to ensure your home is kept safe and secure during the works. Ask for personal recommendations; obtain and scrutinise references and qualifications / association memberships and have a frank discussion with the contractor about how they intend to prevent security becoming an issue.

Discuss Security with Your Contractor

Ask your contractor what they will do about securing their valuable tools overnight and at weekends: will they take them offsite? High value tools will attract attention from thieves who may also decide to help themselves to other belongings whilst they are illegally roaming around a property. If contractors are going to leave tools or valuable materials such as copper piping or cable onsite then you should definitely implement additional security measures.

Also enquire as to whether your home will be exposed at any point, and what the intentions are in this respect. For example, if you are having an extension constructed then there may be holes in walls left overnight ready for windows and doors to be fitted. Will these allow access into the main part of the house? If so, will the holes be blocked up?

Make sure there is a clear, written agreement between you and your contractor that includes reference to who will bear the responsibility of any theft or damage caused by a break-in or attempted break-in. If building materials are stolen, who will be liable for the cost to replace them? Generally the contractor should have adequate insurance to cover such issues as well as accidental damage, so ask for evidence of such.

Strengthen Your Security Armoury

If you don’t already have them, consider fitting sensor lights at the front and rear of the property so as to expose any would-be intruder. Sensor lights act as an excellent deterrent, as do intruder alarms. Vibration alarms fitted to doors and windows will sound should an attempt be made to open them.

CCTV is one of the most effective ways of monitoring a property, both indoors and out. It will provide you with robust evidence in the event of a break-in, but can also provide real-time monitoring too, transmitting footage either to a control centre or any internet enabled device, allowing action to be taken should an issue come to your attention. Combine CCTV with a motion sensor and intruder alarm and there you have a high-level, multi-layered security solution to protect your home.

Make sure that high security locks are used to secure doors and that the doors themselves are sufficiently secure: this includes the frames. Never leave keys in any newly fitted doors or windows and make sure they are closed and locked when works have finished for the day.

Let Your Intruder Alarm Company Know

Always be sure to let your intruder alarm company know that you are having works undertaken. It may be that sensors need to be moved or additional ones put in place to cover any new parts added to the property.

A Good Time to Secure Your Home by Design

Refurbishment is the ideal opportunity to make sure your home is secured from the ground up, simply by the way it is designed. There are numerous ways to integrate up-to-the-minute security and technology features into a property’s make-up that could seriously boost the level of protection offered. These include access control, remote monitoring, alarm-linked safes and lots more. These we will look at in a future post.

If you are about to commence a refurbishment project at your property and would like some expert advice on measures to keep it secure during the works, talk to Barry Bros Security. With decades of experience, our specialists are well-placed to give you the tailored guidance you need to ensure your peace of mind in the run-up to the completion of your newly renovated home.