Some essential Burglary Prevention tips:
Lock all doors and windows, and ensure any PVCu doors are locked properly by lifting the handle and using the key to double-lock them
- PVCu and aluminium doors should have multi-locking systems. Additional mortice deadlocks and/or key operated throw bolts can be fitted to provide additional security and reduce the leverage points.
- Always lift the handle and lock with a key to prevent burglars reaching in through the letterbox to open the door. Internal letterbox cages and shields also help to prevent car or house keys being fished through the letterbox.
- Wooden front doors should be solid timber, with a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock one third of the way up and an automatic deadlocking latch rim one third of the way down.
- Wooden back doors should be solid timber, with a BS 5-lever motice lock and two mortice rack bolts.
- Frames can be reinforced with metal strips called ‘London’ and ‘Birmingham’ bars.
- Hinge bolts should be fitted to outward opening doors.
- Glass panels in doors should be replaced with laminated glass of reinforced internally with security film or grilles.
- When moving into an older home, consider changing the locks on your doors to make sure that you have the only keys.
- If you have a door entry system, make sure that it is used properly
Make a habit out of checking that ground floor windows are closed and locked when you go to bed. Upstairs windows should be locked when the house is unoccupied.
- Window locks which are visible from the outside may deter thieves because the lock forces the thief to break the glass and risk attracting attention. Thieves are reluctant to climb over broken glass.
- Window handles should be multi-locking, with shoot bolts into the frame If not, surface mounted key operated window locks should be fitted (warranty permitting) to provide additional security and reduce the leverage points.
- Don’t forget window locks for both sashed and hinged windows are available. Get advice for the right lock for your style of window.
- Pay particular attention to making sure that ground floor windows and windows that are accessible above flat roofs, close to drain pipes or in reach of fire escapes, are secure.
- Patio doors should have a minimum of three locking points with an anti-lift device to prevent them from being lifted from their runners. Extra surface mounted patio locks can be fitted to provide additional security.
- If you need advice call us on 01442 872586, we offer free no obligations security assessments.
Gates, fences and hedges
Make sure you always lock any gates and keep fences in good repair
- Front boundaries (hedges, trees and shrubs) shouldn’t exceed 1m in height (usually windowsill height); unless they are metal railings which allow natural vision through, to stop a burglar having a screen to work behind.
- Side and rear boundaries should be a minimum of 1.8m in height. If it’s above 2m, planning permission may be needed. An additional diamond style trellising is difficult to climb and gives a framework for spiky plants like climbing roses.
- An anti-climbing topping on gates, such a decorative spearhead design, make it difficult for them to be climbed over.
- Wooden side gates and driveway gates should be secured on the inside with two substantial hasp and staples with closed shackle padlocks, one towards the top and one towards the bottom, to reduce leverage.
Police do advise that lighting can play an important role in reducing the risk of burglary because it makes homes look occupied and, therefore, not a target for most burglars. This lighting needs to be inside the home (and visible to those outside) and at entry points (doorways and windows). This type of lighting is particularly relevant during the daytime in winter as the evenings draw in, as early as 3pm, when many householders will still be at work. Burglary prevention lighting is not related to street lighting.
- Dusk until dawn security lighting is best, particularly for the rear of your property where heat and motion sensor lighting are often activated by small animals. They can however be a useful addition at the front of your home so they turn on when visitors approach/you come home.
- Install the lights so they are out of reach to avoid the risk of them being tampered with.
- The use of low consumption lamps is recommended with the units fitted to reduce the light glare and light pollution. Go for good quality rather than quantity.
Intruder alarms can be an excellent deterrent against burglary, as burglars don’t want to be seen or heard - time and noise are their enemies. Always set your alarm when leaving the house and if you don’t have, consider having one fitted.
- An alarm company should be affiliated to an inspectorate body, ie ‘NSI or ‘SSAIB’. * There are three types of intruder alarm systems available:
- Monitored – which provide a police response via the alarm company
- Speech dialler – which automatically calls pre-programmed key-holders
- Audible only – which relies on neighbours and passers-by to react
- External active alarm bell boxes (which have sounders and flashing lights) are required at the front and rear of the building to maximise the visual deterrent of the system, no matter what direction a burglar approaches from and regardless of whether it’s day or night time.
- DIY intruder alarm systems are available, but are not eligible for an automatic police response.
Be a good neighbour and keep an eye out for unusual callers in your neighbourhood. Call the police if you see anyone acting suspiciously. Don’t be fooled by stories, criminals can be very plausible. You can make contact with your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme to find out what’s happening in your area and get useful help. Don’t be afraid to call the police at your local station or in an emergency dial 999. Keep a pen and some paper handy. The car number you jot down may be just what the police need to catch a burglar.