Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in keeping your home safe from burglary. Here are a few tips:
Doors and windows
In most burglaries, the criminals broke into the house or flat through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in. So make sure your doors are strong and secure. Consider fitting a bar for extra strength. To find the most secure locks which suits your security requirements, visit the Master Locksmiths’ Association website. It also provides a list of registered locksmiths who will be able to provide advice and information and give you practical help to ensure your locks are suitable.
Glass panels on doors are particularly vulnerable. If you have one on your door you could replace it with laminated glass, which is stronger. You can also buy a film in a DIY store that you can stick over the glass to make it harder to break.
Home security and DIY shops sell inexpensive, key-operated locks to fit most kinds of windows. Fit window locks with keys to all downstairs windows and those upstairs that are easy to reach.
If you’re not sure who is at your door, don’t open it. Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from i.e. gas, electricity, water and police. Use the telephone numbers listed in your local directory or provided independently by your service provider – Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller – they may be bogus. The ‘Waterboard’ no longer exists, it is an obsolete phrase used only by bogus callers.
Going away on holiday
Make your home look like someone is living in it:
Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights and radios on when it goes dark
Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries
Use the Royal Mail’s ‘keepsafe’ service – they keep your mail for up to 2 months while you’re away. Mail sitting on your doorstep is a sign that you are away
Trusted neighbours may be able to help you by collecting your post, opening and closing curtains and they could park their car on your driveway
Avoid discussing holiday plans on public social networking sites – burglars can use any information you post on there to their advantage
What can you do about it?
Slow Them Down
Time is a key factor in most burglaries. Burglars will put themselves at risk of being caught for as little time as possible. For them the risks are highest when they are conspicuous to passers-by or in the short time they have to complete their burglary after a burglar alarm has gone off. To prevent burglaries effectively, you should delay burglars at these times for as long as possible in order to make the risk seem unacceptable. The best way to do this is to put your resources into more than one of the types or levels of physical protection– the more barriers you create, the more you will slow them down.
• Test your alarm, ensure it is monitored and fully operational
• Identify any vulnerable areas. Rectify these. Ensure boundary walls/hedges, security gates and bollards are in good condition and fire/exit doors have been secured prior to closure of the premises.
• Make sure you have a list of key holders who can be contacted in times of emergency.
• Consider moving desirable items into a safe, located in a secured stockroom and out of view.
• An insurance rated safe should be bolted to the floor. Anti-tamper sensors can be fitted to set off an alarm if attacked.
• Ensure keys to the premises or other venues are not left inside and are instead with dedicated key holders.
• Consider timer switches or ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the premises/surrounding area.
• Ensure there are no combustible materials left in the proximity of the building such as packaging – consider the risk of arson.
• Review your CCTV to confirm it is operational, provides good quality images and is positioned to cover as much of the stores public and private areas. You may wish to consider a mobile phone app that allows connectivity to “the Cloud” and a vocal capacity to engage with any intruder.
• Ensure that no cash is retained on the premises overnight (leave a note on the door stating that no cash or valuables are kept overnight) or store them in a security accredited safe bolted to the floor.
• Laminated glass or security film that can be applied to existing glass to make it more resistant to a physical assault. If this is not possible, consider boarding or whitewashing over the windows/doors.
• Fogging devices that activate as a result of an intruder activation may also be
beneficial – you can’t steal what you can’t see.
For further advice on any Security Products – www.securedbydesign.com
English and Welsh leaflet on protecting your premises
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