Summer Home Security Essentials

Jun 24, 2024
Security Alarm
Whether you're planning a trip overseas or a staycation, securing your home when you’re away is essential. 
Data from West Yorkshire Police highlights the importance of home security, especially during the summer months. Homes equipped with basic security features such as alarm systems, cameras, and strong locks experience significantly fewer burglaries, as 63% of incidents occur in homes lacking these protections.

Home security measures Brits rely on most in summer

With a wealth of technology at our fingertips, it’s no surprise that home security has evolved beyond just the traditional lock and key. In a survey we conducted of 500 UK homeowners, 45% reported installing smart home security systems to protect their homes during the summer months, making this the most in-demand solution. These systems include features like video cameras and intruder alarms that send instant alerts to your smartphone.


 Home security measure  % UK homeowners installing in their home
 Smart security (e.g. video camera, smart alarms)
 Securing doors and windows with traditional locks  36%
 Asking a neighbour to watch over your home  35%
 Not leaving spare keys outside  29%
 Installing outdoor lighting  28%
 Putting timers on indoor lights  19%
 Using motion activated lights or alarms   19%

Smart doorbells are the top smart home security choice for UK homeowners 

With smart home technology emerging as the most popular option among UK homeowners, we set out to discover the most sought-after devices that households are investing in.

Smart home security device  % of homeowners installing in their home 
 Smart doorbell  38%
 Security cameras   37%
 Smart locks  27%
 Motion sensor lights   26%
 Smart alarm system   18%

More than two in three Brits willing to pay more for a home that is fitted with smart home security features

Smart security features are convenient and can increase your home's value. In fact, 70% of Brits would make a higher offer on a home with smart features like alarms, doorbells, or sensors, with 42% willing to pay up to an extra £1,000.

However, when it comes to installing smart security features in their own homes, over a third (33%) of UK homeowners are willing to spend up to £500 on smart alarms, cameras, and lights to protect their property.

13% of young homeowners never check their alarm systems before travelling, despite higher burglary risks

According to ONS data, those aged 16-24 experience the highest burglary rates, which correlates with our survey, revealing that 13% of homeowners in this age group never check their alarm systems before leaving home during the summer months.


10 essential home security tips for the summer months 

Every holiday should be stress-free, so our property experts have compiled a list of 10 essential tips for securing your new home during the summer months.


1. Installing an alarm system

Installing an indoor and outdoor alarm system is one of the most effective ways to keep intruders away. Alarms are equipped with sensors that alert you to garden or front porch movements. You’ll need to activate them every time for them to work, so it’s a good habit to do so whenever you leave the house or go to bed.

Some alarm systems let you add CCTV cameras to capture live actions; you can also install home security cameras for added protection.

2. Updating your locks

Locking your doors and windows may not be enough if you don’t have high-quality locks. Ensure all exterior doors have a deadbolt and their frames and hinges are strong enough to prevent break-ins.
It’s important to change your locks if you lose your keys. Consider installing patlocks – door chains fitted inside the door that can be released in seconds without keys or codes.

3. Securing your windows – particularly in outdoor buildings

An outdoor building such as a shed, garage, or summer house can be an easy target, so make sure your windows in them are secure and resistant. Consider getting extra locks, or pin locks which will prevent anyone from lifting them.

For extra safety, install tempered glass windows, four times stronger than standard glass. If you’re worried some windows may be more at risk than others, you can replace standard glass with plexiglass, which is ten times more resistant and durable.

4. Installing motion-activated lights 

Outdoor motion-activated lights can detect any movement around your house, deterring burglars. There are different types of available, including:
Solar-powered lights
Smart outlets to put outdoor lights on a timer
Smart light bulbs
You may also want to invest in automated low-energy lighting to come on at intervals. This way, it will look like you’re at home even when you’re not.

5. Increasing gate and fence security

Don’t settle for old gates and flimsy fences. We recommend gates be the same height as the adjoining walls and securely connected. Metal gates provide better safety, especially if they have two different locks.

6. Locking your garage and keeping your car safe

When securing your home, don’t forget about the garage, check that all doors are locked. If your garage has a sensor or electric opening control, keep it in the house rather than in the car, where it’ll be safer.
If you have a remote car fob key keep it in a Faraday box that blocks electronic signals so people can’t steal the car remotely.
Keeping the door between your garage and home locked is a good idea too – if someone breaks in, they won’t have access to your property.  

7. Safely storing spare keys

Do you store your spare keys under a pot in the front garden? As common as this is, it is also equally unsafe. 

Consider installing a wall-mounted combination lock box and positioning it in a discreet location. These lockboxes resist hammering and sawing, helping prevent the most determined intrusions.

8. Cyber safety

Today, more and more homes have smart features, making it possible to control appliances from your phone. You can increase or decrease the heating, make a coffee, or check what’s in your fridge. But the higher number of smart features that are linked to your network, the easier it becomes for cyber criminals to access.
There are a few things you can do to prevent cyber intrusions:
Use secure passwords
Use a unique password for each device
Enable two-factor authentication (two ways to verify yourself)
Install anti-virus software on your laptop

9. Hiding valuables 

Hiding valuables may be an old trick, but it is still one of the most effective. Keep jewellery, electronics, and other valuable objects out of sight, as these may attract intruders. We also recommend keeping your car keys concealed. 

10. Understanding your home insurance policy

It's crucial to check in with your home insurance provider to understand what your policy covers in case of break-ins when your home is vacant during the summer. Knowing the specifics can help ensure you have adequate protection and can save you from unexpected expenses. Plus, some policies may require certain security measures to be in place while you're away, so being informed can help you take the necessary steps to keep your home safe and secure.


We conducted a survey of 500 UK homeowners through OnePulse to identify the most popular smart home security technologies they are investing in and to determine the most reliable security features. Additionally, we inquired about the budget homeowners are willing to allocate for these technologies.

Find out more about how Barratt Homes can help make your dream home a reality, with support from schemes such as the Own New Rate Reducer – where you could receive either 3% or 5% of the purchase price towards your move.