Top 10 Home Security Tips
This section focuses on general home security ideas, we've also got a additional section on 'bogus official' burglaries and lock snapping below.
- The basics. Don't leave empty boxes of high value goods like laptops outside your home – this advertises the fact you may have just bought an expensive item and a burglar may see this as an opportunity to break into your home knowing you have valued goods inside.
- Never leave a spare key hidden in a pot, under a stone, behind a loose brick, in the shed etc – these places are well known to burglars who will check.
- After moving house change your door locks – other people may have a key to the property.
- If you're out or going away use an automatic timer to turn lights, or products such as Fake TV ; this makes it look as if your TV is on and somebody is home. Burglars look for a home that looks empty, Fake TV could prevent that.
- Mark property with your postcode, house number and first two letters of your name. If goods are marked offenders may be deterred from stealing them as it is obvious to potential buyers that the goods are stolen. Forensic Security Marking systems are updated versions of UV marker pens. See a video and get a discount code here.
- Do you have trees and bushes that are overgrown? These can provide cover for criminals waiting to get into your home. Keep areas criminal can hide and wait to a minimum.
- Keep keys away from your letterbox. Criminals can reach through letterboxes, or cat flaps and use poles with magnets on the end to hook your keys from where you store them. These can then be used to enter your home.
- Consider fitting a door viewer. These can be the traditional type, or if you have poor eyesight and would like to see an enlarged picture LCD door viewer systems can easily be fitted.
- Burglar alarms may have been around a long time, however they are a deterrent to criminals. If you don't have a system, consider fitting one.
- Is the outside of your home well lit? Burglars like to work where they can't be seen. Fitting security lights makes this more difficult for them. Some systems require mains wiring, but there are large numbers of solar security lights on the market currently.
Bogus Official Burglaries
- Bogus officials and distraction burglars are criminals who trick their way into homes to steal cash and property. These criminals often target old or vulnerable members of the community.
- The most basic home security is the front door. This is the primary entry point in the home, and the method to identify who is outside. If an official, or representative of a water / gas / electric company comes to your door ask to see some identification. Keep your door chained while you check this id.
Lock snapping Burglaries
- Victims of this crime find property stolen and snapped door locks lying on the ground.
- Lock snapping, or cylinder snapping as it is sometimes called is simple to do, force is applied to the cylinder within your door lock mechanism and the lock breaks in two.
- Vulnerable systems are fitted to millions of properties, usually UPVC or double glazed doors. If you haven't fitted a new lock in the last two or three years you may be at risk from being a victim of lock snapping. Don't worry it is easy to fit a replacement, they can be bought here.
How Many Crimes Happen Where I Live?
- Over 1,500 burglaries took place every day in the year to June 2014 – every day. 1,500 sets of victims, that's 569,000 in total for the year as a whole.
- One in every 40 homes became a victim, don't be complacent.
- If you want to find out exactly how many people have been a victim of crime near you in the last month keep an eye on your local press.
Are There any Products That Could Help?
Crime prevention includes adding additional layers of security to deter potential thieves. There are a whole range of products available to purchase. As a general rule consider those that have been Sold Secure, or Secured by Design tested.
- Fake TV. This is updated version of automatic light switches, it replicates the light patterns of someone being at home, therefore deterring the criminal. Available for around £20.
- Forensic Security Marking. A Police backed system to prevent thefts, see the video and get a discount code here.
- For High Tech crime prevention consider digital security cameras that stream directly to your smartphone. Often less than £150 and very simple to set up.
We've picked out a number of good options in the shop section of this website. Follow the links to see independent customer reviews of these products from Amazon customers, read reviews to help you decide which product will be best to prevent a criminal stealing from you.
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Crime survey for England and Wales June 2014 update