NHSM concludes with home security tips from the Metropolitan Police

As hosts, we know that keeping your guests, yourself, and your home safe is at the forefront of your mind. Properly preparing and securing your home can be stressful and overwhelming — but the good news is that doesn’t have to be.

To close out National Home Security Month (NHSM), we’ve partnered with London’s Metropolitan Police Service to share a handful of helpful tips to help keep your home safe for all.

The Metropolitan Police recommends:

  1. Installing a smart lock
    Giving out door keys to guests can leave you vulnerable, but installing a smart lock accredited to TS007 (3 stars) or Sold Secure Diamond standard will allow you to temporarily set up electronic keys using fobs, phones or cards. Don’t forget to routinely change your code for each guest’s arrival.
  2. Using a secure key safe
    If you use a key safe to keep your door keys available to guests, use one that guards against opportunist attacks by bodily force using minimal tools like a screwdriver or knife (accredited to at least LPS 1175 SR1). This gives the key safe the same resistance to attack as a secure entrance door, letting your guests in while keeping intruders out.
  3. Using your locks
    This might seem obvious, but make sure you actually use your locks! A thumb turn lock on an entrance door makes it easy to lock up at night and provides an easy means of escape if there is a fire. If you have a letterbox and a thumbturn lock, you should purchase a letterbox restrictor to stop people fishing through the letterbox to unlock the door.
  4. Installing dawn to dusk lighting
    LED dawn to dusk lighting by the entrance door provides a welcoming environment for guests and also reduces the risk of intruders from trying to break in unseen at the front of the property.
  5. Making note of serial numbers
    Protect valuables by properly marking or photographing and recording the serial numbers of your valuables. In the event that something is stolen or goes missing, having these numbers on hand will increase the chances of your property being recovered and bringing the offender to justice.
  6. Using Police approved products
    Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, has member companies around the UK that meet SBD’s Police Preferred Specification with products like doors, windows and locks of sufficiently robust quality to deter opportunistic burglars. This standard requires manufacturers to have independent third-party certification with regular product re-testing and audits, rather than one-off testing, to ensure quality is maintained over time. If you’re in the market for a new item, the Metropolitan Police recommend searching their approved products before making a purchase.

We encourage you to keep this important home safety advice from the Metropolitan Police in mind, no matter if you’re welcoming travelers on Airbnb or not.  These simple steps can go a long way to having a safer and more secure home.

While negative incidents in listings are incredibly rare, in the event that something should something happen, our Trust and Safety team is standing by 24/7 to help make things right for our community and works closely with law enforcement to assist them in their investigations. Please remember, in an emergency situation or if you feel your personal safety if threatened, always contact local police or emergency services immediately — then reach out to Airbnb.

For more helpful information to secure your home, check out the Metropolitan Police’s page about crime prevention.

This post marks the end of National Home Security Month 2017, but keeping our global community safety and earning your trust is our top priority — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We hope this series provided some new and helpful ways to keep you, your guests, and your home safer than ever. To read the full National Home Security Month series, visit the Citizen Responsibility Hub.

Week one: NHSM Introduction

Week two: NHSM Safety Tips

Week three: RoSPA Child Safety Tips

Week four: Fire Safety Tips