Introduction To Burglary & Home Security

A well-secured home not only deters potential burglars but also brings peace of mind, especially when you’re away. Additionally, it’s vital to understand the importance of discreetly handling personal plans, like vacation schedules, to avoid inadvertently inviting unwanted attention to your unoccupied home. These guidelines, when implemented, can significantly reduce the chances of burglary and ensure home security and a safe living environment.

Home Security & Burglary Tips Summarised

  • Install a burglar alarm system to deter potential thieves.
  • Use a WIDE security combination: Window locks, Indoor lights on a timer, Door double or deadlocks, and External lights on a timer or sensor.
  • Mark valuables with a UV or indelible pen to deter theft and assist in recovery if stolen.
  • Keep all doors and windows locked, even when at home.
  • Secure outdoor spaces like garages and sheds to prevent burglars from using your tools against you.
  • Use outdoor lighting as a deterrent and to increase visibility.
  • Avoid distraction burglaries by being wary of unexpected callers.
  • Prepare your home for safety before going on holiday.

Prevent Burglary With These Tips

Based on information from Crimestoppers and Age UK, the following measures can help prevent burglary in your home:

Home Security:
It’s essential to secure your doors and windows effectively to deter burglars. You can fit your front door with an automatic rim latch lock (also known as a nightlatch), a five-lever mortice deadlock, and a letterbox cage to prevent thieves from tampering with locks through the letterbox. A door peephole allows you to check who’s outside before deciding whether to open the door. A door chain can help screen doorstep callers, but it should not be left on all day as it can hinder entry for family, carers, or emergency services.

For the back door, a five-lever mortice deadlock is recommended. Any windows that are easy to reach should be fitted with locks, with keys stored out of sight but easily accessible in case of an emergency. It’s crucial to check whether the locks fitted on doors and windows are approved by the Master Locksmith Association (MLA).

Home Security Devices:
Home security devices such as outdoor lighting and burglar alarms can provide additional home security. Outdoor lighting acts as a deterrent to burglars and can either switch on automatically from dusk until dawn, or activate when it senses movement outside your home. A visible burglar alarm can also deter burglars and alert you to any intruders. Before purchasing an alarm, it’s advisable to seek advice from the Safer Neighbourhood Team or the Crime Prevention Officer at your local police station. Some home insurance companies may even lower your premium if you have additional security devices installed.

Protecting Your Possessions:
To protect your valuables, consider marking them with your postcode and the number of your house or flat. This action deters burglars because it makes stolen property harder to sell. If your valuables are stolen, the police are more likely to find them if they’re marked. You can register your valuable possessions online for free on the Immobilise Property Register, which helps police identify owners of lost or stolen property. Local Neighbourhood Watch or the Safer Neighbourhood team at your local police station can assist with marking possessions.

Cities With The Highest Burglary Rates: Oct 2023
City Name Burglary Crime Rate
Middlesbrough 11.45
Westminster 10.85
Leeds 8.86
Birmingham 8.35
Kingston upon Hull 8.26
Southwark 7.85
Sheffield 7.78
Hackney 7.63
Wolverhampton 7.31
Camden 7.30

Securing Garages, Sheds, and Passageways:
Garages, sheds, and passageways should be secured to prevent crime. Garages and sheds often contain expensive tools, which a burglar could use to break into your home. Make sure that garage doors are solid and fitted with good locks, and always keep garage windows and doors locked, especially if your garage is attached to your house with a door leading inside. Padlocking any side gates and installing a strong fence can deter burglars and stop them from entering your house through the garden. Gravel driveways and paths may also deter burglars because they make it harder for burglars to approach silently.

When Going on Holiday:
Before going on holiday, take some simple precautions such as asking a trusted friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home, avoiding discussing your holiday plans on social media, and cancelling your regular deliveries, as parcels or newspapers on your doorstep can signal that you’re away. It’s also advisable to register with the Royal Mail Keepsafe service to ensure your mail does not pile up in your absence.

Remember, every household is unique, and these tips should be adapted to your specific circumstances. It’s always a good idea to contact local crime prevention officers for advice tailored to your home.

Burglary Prevention: Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s Don’ts
Do install a WIDE security system: Window locks, Indoor lights on a timer, Door double or deadlocks, and External lights on a timer or sensor. Don’t leave your house appearing unoccupied. Use timers on lights and radios to give the appearance of activity.
Don’t leave packaging for expensive items outside your home where it can be seen, as this can attract burglars. Do use a UV or indelible pen to mark your valuables. This makes them less desirable to thieves and easier to recover if stolen.
Do lock all doors and windows, even when you are at home. Don’t leave accessible windows open at night, even when you’re home.
Do secure outdoor spaces such as garages and sheds, and keep tools locked away. Don’t leave ladders or tools outside that could assist a burglar.
Do install outdoor lighting to deter burglars and increase visibility around your property. Don’t forget to regularly check the security devices for proper functioning.
Do be cautious of unexpected callers at your door to avoid distraction burglaries. Don’t let strangers inside your home, even if they appear to be from a reputable company, without verifying their identity.
Do make arrangements for your home to appear occupied if you’re going away on holiday, such as cancelling regular deliveries or asking a neighbour to park in your driveway. Don’t broadcast your holiday plans on social media or in public where potential burglars could overhear.
Do register your valuable possessions online for free on the Immobilise Property Register. Don’t forget to take photos of valuable items and keep them in a safe place, outside your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective ways to deter burglars from targeting my home?
It’s recommended to install security features such as window locks, indoor lights on a timer, double or deadlocks on doors, and external lights on a sensor. In addition, leaving a radio or lights on when you’re out can create the illusion of occupancy. Keeping your side and back gates secure and storing garden tools inside can also make your home less attractive to burglars.

How can I ensure my valuable possessions are secure?
Consider marking your property with indelible pens, postcode etching, or chemically coded systems to make them difficult to sell if stolen. You can also register your valuables on websites like Immobilise. It’s also a good practice to take photos of high-value items such as jewellery and artworks and keep them in a secure location.

What type of locks are recommended for home security?
For the best home security, consider installing an automatic rim latch lock (also known as a nightlatch) and a five-lever mortice deadlock on your doors. For windows that are easily accessible, fitting locks can enhance security. Always ensure to keep window keys in a safe and hidden location.

How can I improve the security of my garage or shed?
Garages and sheds often house expensive tools that could be used by a burglar to break into your home. Ensure that garage doors are solid and equipped with quality locks. Keep garage windows and doors locked, especially if there’s a connecting door to your house. Padlocking side gates and installing a strong fence can also deter burglars.

What precautions should I take when going on holiday?
Before going on holiday, it’s a good idea to ask a trusted friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home. Avoid discussing your travel plans on social media. Also, cancel regular deliveries like newspapers or parcels, as accumulated deliveries can signal that you’re away.

What can I do to increase the security of my home at night?
It’s recommended to keep accessible windows closed during the night, even when you’re at home. Outdoor lighting that switches on from dusk until dawn or when it senses movement can act as a deterrent to burglars. Installing a visible burglar alarm can also warn you of any intruders.

How can I make my property less appealing to burglars?
Burglars tend to avoid homes that appear occupied and well-secured. Switching lights or a radio on when you leave, even for a short while, can give the impression that someone is home. Also, gravel driveways and paths can make a burglar’s approach noisy and noticeable, thus serving as a deterrent.

For information on Safe Deposit Boxes contact Soteria Safes.

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