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One of the many financial benefits of getting older includes falling house insurance costs. This is partly to do with the perception of insurance providers that over 50s are more responsible and less likely to cause accidental damage to their valuables. However, over 50s are usually just as much at risk from burglary, which is why when it comes to cutting insurance costs, it’s even more important to make sure you have a secure home.

Of course, having a more secure home won’t only reduce your insurance costs; it’ll also allow you to feel safer at home, particularly when you’re alone. Since older people generally feel more vulnerable to burglaries it makes sense to increase the protection in your home. If your property is not quite as secure as it could be quite yet never fear, there are plenty of things you can do to turn your home into your castle. The fact that some of these tips could also save you money is just a pleasant bonus.

Let there be light
First things first, thieves love the dark as it lets them go about their business unseen. Shine a light on them and they’re much more likely to leave your home alone. Motion detection lighting will combat this problem, and will also allow you to search through your bag for your keys if you come home late at night.

Police your community
If there’s a local neighbourhood watch why not get involved? And if there isn’t already an established neighbourhood watch why not set one up? Some insurance providers ask specifically if you’re a member of such a community scheme, so keeping an eye on your neighbours, and getting them to keep an eye on you, could lower the quotes you receive.

Feel free to peep
Have a wide-angled peephole installed in your door that will allow you to see just who is knocking at your door. This way you’ll only open your door to people you can trust.

Secure your windows
When it comes to ground floor windows a keyed lock provides much more protection than a simple thumb lock. However, this can present a fire hazard if you can’t easily open your window in an emergency. You’ll want to keep the key near the window, but out of sight of someone approaching from outside.

Stay at home
Many burglars will target empty homes. So what’s the solution – never leave the house? Of course not, but you can certainly create the illusion that somebody’s home. Having a lamp on a timer is a great way to give the impression that someone’s at home whether you’re out for the night, or away for a week.

Ring the bells
A monitored alarm system is a great way to keep your home secure and as a nice side effect you’ll see a great drop in the price of home insurance. If you want the thief to flee the scene as quickly as possible you’ll want to make sure the alarm doesn’t just notify the monitoring station, but also makes a noise in your home.

Written by Dan Richard, a home insurance professional and experienced blogger