In this day and age, it is only natural to worry about theft and crime – particularly when it comes to that all important sanctuary from the rest of the world: our home.

Burglar alarms and home security systems can be a drain on our finances, so it is worthwhile to consider other cost effective measures that can create greater peace of mind about the safety of our property. Here are a few handy tips on how to make your home more secure with relative ease and without spending a fortune.

With doors leading directly to the outside, always make sure there are at least three ‘locking points’. The Metropolitan Police Service recommends using a 5 point mortice deadlock on all front doors. When it comes to doors with glazed panels such as patio doors and French windows, these should ideally be fitted with additional top and bottom locks. (source: http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/crime-prevention/helping-prevent-crime/-and-property/home-security-tips).

Light also acts as an important deterrent to burglars, so try to ensure there are lights installed outside every doorway and in darkened access areas such as porches or a side path alongside the house. Motion sensitive lights are even better, as they will immediately alert you and other members of the family to any unexpected movements outside – even if it’s just a fox rummaging the bins.

Make sure to keep garden shed and garages locked and consider fitting them with battery operated alarms. Don’t leave garden tools or ladders lying around outside that could assist or encourage someone in their attempts to break in.

If you haven’t already, get a suitable home insurance policy put in place so the contents of your home are protected in a worst-case scenario. RIAS house insurance offers a high level of cover specifically for the over 50s market and there are many other providers available for homeowners of all ages and circumstances.

Whenever you leave the house, always close and lock all doors and windows, even if you think you will only be gone for a short time. Burglary is an opportunistic crime and this will decrease the likelihood of your home being targeted.

If you’re going to be away on holiday or for an extended period, think ahead and cancel any items you may have ordered for delivery to your house. Ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on things and to regularly pick up your post– one of the key tell-tale signs to burglars that no one is home. Get them to draw the curtains or switch a light or two on if they are popping in every evening: It is always good to give the impression to outsiders that there is someone at home, even when it’s not the case.