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Our latest 'Burglary prevention toolkit' can be accessed here:
There are many ways you can prevent your home being targeted by a burglar and it should be part of your daily routine. Making sure your property is secure doesn’t have to be too expensive or take up too much of your time – it may just be a case of getting into the habit of using the security you already have?
The best way to review your existing security is deal with it in three sections:
When looking at each of these aspects of your home do it as if you were the offender, what weak spots would you identify and how easy would it be for you to gain access to your property? The answers to these questions will assist you in prioritising any upgrades to your security.
The perimeter is the basically the boundary to your property and the protection to the boundary may take the form of a wall, fence, hedge or a combination depending on the type of home you live in. Basic areas to consider when reviewing your perimeter are:
- Have you got high hedges to the front of your property that may prevent someone from being seen if they are attempting to get into your home?
- If you have gates within the perimeter do you use them and keep them closed and locked?
- Is fencing in good condition and well maintained? Are fencing panels fixed to the posts to prevent them from being removed or lifted from their position?
- Are there any gaps in the perimeter that someone could simply walk through?
- Do you have adequate external security lighting that illuminates your garden? Is it in working order and sufficient for your needs?
It’s really important that you have adequate levels of physical security on your doors and windows and that your doors and windows are in good condition. It’s equally as important that you use the security that you already have. Making upgrades around your home doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot of money. Basic areas to consider when reviewing the shell of your property are:
- Are your doors, windows and the frames they are fitted within in good condition or are they deteriorating? If you are replacing doors and windows ensure that they meet the latest standards
- Is any glass in doors and windows damaged in anyway?
- Do you have adequate locks on ground floor and upper floor windows that are accessible?
- Have you got a burglar alarm? Does it work? Do you set when leaving your home unoccupied and before you go to bed?
- Have you got euro-cylinder locks on your doors? If yes, do they meet the very latest standards – TS007 (3 star rating) or SS312 (Sold Secure Diamond Standard).
Security doesn’t stop at the front gate or door to your home and there are certain things that you can do inside that may deter an offender and prevent you from becoming a victim of burglary. Basic areas to consider when reviewing the interior of your property are:
- Do you leave items such as car keys, money, jewellery, mobile phones or laptops on view? Would it be easy for an offender to look through your window and see such items on show or within reach of a letterbox or cat flap?
- If you have large amounts of jewellery in your home you could consider fitting a domestic safe, utilising deposit boxes at banks if available and marking your items with a DNA solution
- Have you got your property marked around your home? There are many different products available to do this and your local Crime Prevention Officer will be able to advise further on the best options for you. You should also keep a written and photographic record of items of financial or sentimental value
- Do you use timer switches to illuminate your home when it is left unoccupied? Timers should be rotated around your home and you may want to use more than one
- Do you shred personal receipts, statements, bills and official documentation before throwing them in the bin? Doing this is quick, easy and may prevent you from becoming a victim of identity theft