Traditionally, burglary tends to increase as the dark evenings come upon us so as the clocks have recently gone back and as it’s coming to the end of Home Security Month, we thought it a good time to offer you advice on a few simple steps you can take to make your home less vulnerable to burglary.
Security is like many things in life, you tend to get what you are prepared to pay for and sometimes cheap security offers little or no security or may let you down in some way just when it is needed, however with a little knowledge you needn’t pay the earth and most expensive is not always best.
The vast majority of residential burglaries are opportunist, what we mean by that is that with minimal planning, a burglar will walk or drive along any random street and look at the houses. Their aim is to get in and out as quickly and quietly as possible without being seen or heard and therefore minimise the chance of being caught red handed. Mostly they will tend to be attracted to what they consider to be the “softer” targets.
Every little thing that you add that will cause a burglar to make more noise, take more time or be more visual getting in will put them off. The chances are that if you have sufficient security they will in all likelihood burgle a house nearby that presents them less of a challenge.
- Consider the perimeter of your property and the approach, do you shut/lock access gates.
- Preventing unwanted visitors entering your property is what you need to achieve, but nobody wants their home looking like a prison surrounded by high walls and barbed wire, and that is not necessary.
- Mother nature provides an environmentally friendly, attractive and particularly effective alternative – the prickly bush, these can be extremely effective when planted around perimeter areas. Don’t go for height particularly at the front as this could hide unwanted visitors on your property from sight. A high hedge can be great for an opportunist theft as they are confident of not being seen while they are up to no good.
- There are many forms of driveway alert that sound in the house when someone enters your drive these start from as little as £30.
- Consider motion sensitive outdoor lighting. During the hours of darkness lighting is not only be a comfort factor for the occupant, it is an excellent deterrent for would be opportunist burglars who clearly do not want to be seen. Be sure to fit them out of reach so they cannot be tampered with and if they are bright halogen or cost saving LED lights, not pointing directly at neighbours houses so as to cause a nuisance.
- Many of the more “professional” burglars don’t carry obvious tools on them for gaining entry incase they are stopped by police, instead they rely on their target victim(s) leaving them out. Ensure your garden is tidy, that ladders and tools that may be used to gain entry are locked away.
- Ensure your sheds and outbuildings are properly secured (both windows and doors) using the best quality locks that you can afford and consider lighting around these areas and a shed alarm. (basic shed alarms start at around £20)
- Secure any particularly valuable items within your shed or outbuilding with padlocks and chains to ground or wall anchors. If you install high quality security it would necessitate a thief having to use a noisy angle grinder rather than relatively silent bolt croppers.
- Consider locking other smaller valuable tools items such as chainsaws etc to the same ground or wall anchors at least locking lots of items together to make them very difficult to move.
- We have already mentioned outdoor motion detector lights and the same applies around the house itself.
- Always read you insurance company’s minimum requirements for security (Usually they will require at least 5 lever British Standard lock or equivalent on the final exit point for example) and similar locks or additional locking bolts on all other external doors plus key operated window lacks on all windows accessible from the ground floor. IF YOU DON’T COMPLY WITH THESE REQUIREMENTS, THEY MAY NOT PAY OUT IN THE EVENT OF BURGLARY, NO MATTER HOW THEY BROKE IN.
- There are a vast range of locks and additional security for doors and windows on the market, your local reputable locksmith is the best point of advice on upgrading your locks and additional security.
- Once you have good quality locks on doors and windows make sure you lock them when you are out, at night and when you are in the garden in the summer.
- If you leave windows open at night in the summer, consider fitting security restraints to prevent them from opening wide enough to climb through.
- You may also not be aware that if someone enters your house using a key, most insurers will not pay out. It is always sound advice to change the locks when you move house so you can account for all of the keys.
Hear are a few more tips
- Don’t leave valuables on display through windows or advertise them with social media photographs.
- Beware of what you put on social media when you are away from home, it could be as simple as commenting on a picture of your animals at kennels which demonstrates you are away from home.
- Install a safe for your valuables; Everybody has items that they would be devastated if they were stolen or destroyed in a fire.
- Install a burglar alarm; If you already have an alarm, make sure you use it, It is not an ornament, and is only fully effective if properly serviced and always used.
- Install CCTV cameras; If you have them, ensure they are regularly serviced, that your DVR is recording and that the time is accurate and changed with British Summer Time.
- Security Grilles or mesh can add an extra layer of protection for windows and doors;
- Holiday tips will be subject to a separate blog.
- Consider UV marking or DNA based marking systems to mark your property which may increase the chances of you getting it back in the worst case scenario.
- Photograph and catalogue valuable items and keep receipts in a safe place.
REMEMBER: There is no such thing as 100% security but, every little thing that you add that will cause a burglar to make more noise, take more time or be more visual getting in will put them off. The chances are that if you have sufficient security they will in all likelihood burgle a house nearby that presents them less of a challenge.
If you want to deter a burglar you need to think like a burglar. A burglar wants to enter your building as quickly and quietly as possible and easily remove tools and other items, place them in their vehicle and leave without being caught.
Just incase the worst does happen despite your best efforts, check that you have sufficient insurance cover for your house, sheds and outbuildings and that tools and equipment of significant value is covered.
Ensure you comply with your insurers minimum requirements, such as locking ATVs to ground anchors as otherwise your insurance may not pay out.
Make a note of the serial numbers of valuable tools and equipment, Mark them in someway either with a property marketing solution or by putting your postcode in a way that cannot be easily removed.
If you would like help or guidance regarding the security of your home then please do not hesitate to call Safe and Secure 24/7 Locksmiths and Security on 01686 640 869 or Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for more security tips, or subscribe to our RSS feed for regular blog updates.
Safe and Secure 24/7 Locksmiths and Security are based in between Welshpool and Newtown in Powys and we cover, Mid- Wales and Shropshire. We are local Locksmiths, we can give expert security advice and undertake security upgrades and Alarm and CCTV installations. Give us a call today for a friendly chat.
We are happy to undertake a security review for you or quote for upgrades, alarm systems, safes, CCTV etc.