Utilizing security know how and expertise in order to provide tailored and customised security recommendations to customers is a unique selling point for any Locksmith. Not only does it allow a customer to fully benefit from calling out an expert and ensure their home is safe, but it also allows you to promote your services to customers and become unique from your competition. In this how to we cover everything you need to look at and consider when conducting a free home security check for customers. Everything from customer service to whether their garden hedge could use a trim, we explain.
Communicating with Customers
Security can be a touchy subject for many, so we always suggest approaching this situation with due diligence and care to ensure that the customers understand that your recommendations are just that, recommendations, and they understand why you are making them. We recommend that should you notice something that could be improved or could be lessening the customers home security you not only suggest the solution but also why it could affect them.
For example, the customer has a large garden with lots of foliage. You notice that a would be intruder could use the foliage to hide in to try and enter the house undetected. Your suggestion would be to install a motion activated garden light. Now you wouldn’t just tell the customer that they need a garden light, you should explain what the issue is, why it is an issue, the solution and then why the solution is suggested.
The issue: Overgrown foliage
Why is it an issue: An intruder could hide to try gain undetected entry to the home.
The solution: Install a motion activated garden light.
Why the solution is suggested: A motion activated garden light will shine a light on anyone moving around the garden when they shouldn’t be.
It is important to note that you should never make the customer feel as though their home is unsafe, and rather take the approach that any suggestions would just further their home security. Customers should feel confident that their home is secure and that any suggestions are just suggestions. For more advise on customer service and communicating with customers, visit our Good Customer Service Guide.
1. Be Prepared
It is always useful to carry around something to write on as you do the security inspection, we would recommend just a standard clipboard where you can mark the section of the home, the issue and the recommendation. Not only does this look more professional, but writing down clear, concise notes means that you can give the recommendations to the customer to keep.
2. Conduct an Inspection of the Home Exterior
Firstly, you should assess the exterior of the home. This will be what intruders will do if they were scoping out a place. Find any weaker points in security and if anything might make this home a target.
Inspect the surrounding area, such as front and back gardens. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there any foliage that an intruder could easily hide in?
- Are the doors and windows of the home easily visible to the road?
- Is there foliage blocking the view from the road or from the neighbours?
The answers to those questions will help you to understand the security implications and what could be done to improve the security of the home. For example, if the view of the front door of the house was completely blocked from the road by foliage, you could suggest that the foliage be cut back a little to improve visibility and make it harder for someone to force entry undetected, or you could suggest the installation of a smart doorbell or security camera that would provide an extra layer of security.
Similarly access the situation of the lighting on the exterior of the home.
- Is there substantial lighting available for at night?
- Are entry doors well lit?
- Is the garden well lit?
Understanding the situation of the home in the absence of light will allow you to evaluate what issues the homeowner might face at night. Could someone approach the house under the cover of darkness and not be noticed? What implications might this have on the security of the home.
Garages & Sheds
Garages and sheds are often broken into to steal smaller valuable items that aren’t secured. Items such as bikes, power tools and other equipment can often be found unlocked in sheds and garages and can be a target for attack. Access the security of these areas to understand how an intruder might gain entry or what might entice them.
- Does the shed/garage have the correct locks?
- Is the security on the shed/garage adequate to stop someone from forcing entry?
- Are there any valuables on show that might make the home a target?
Using your expert Locksmith and security skills and your common sense will allow you to recognize when security may not be up to parr and when a home could become a target.
Valuables on Show
Take a look through a few accessible windows and doors, are there any valuables on show that are within easy reach? What could valuables on show mean for the security of the home? Take time to consider whether the customer is placing themselves at risk by having valuables on show and what they could do to make their home more secure.
3. Conduct an Inspection of the Home Interior
Doors and Windows
Doors and windows are some of the most important security precautions that a customer should think of. You should check that the frames of the doors and windows are in good condition and are not warping or cracking. Ask yourself:
- Are the frames in good condition?
- Is there any visible damage?
- Do they look secure?
Any damage to doors and windows can give intruders the impression that they may be easier to force entry into and therefore make the home are more appealing target. Consider the implications of the conditions of the windows and doors and what it might be for home security.
As an expert Locksmith you’ll be able to know how secure the locks are on a home and what benefits they hold. Are the locks British Standard? Is the euro cylinder anti snap?
What suggestions could you make to ensure that the locks on the windows and doors provide enough security to the home, what benefits would more secure locks have for the customer.
4. Show your Suggestions to the Customer
Once you have complied all of your suggestions, you should run through them in the format that we suggested.
What is the issue > what the issue means > what is the solution > why will the solution be better?
Talk your customer through your suggestions and what benefits you think that they would have, discuss if there are alternative solutions and answer any questions the customer might have. Furthermore, make sure to give your customer a copy of your suggestions so that they can have a look in their own time and consider your suggestions.
Multiple Police departments have created their own home security checklists which are a good guide to work from. Find them below: