As the days grow longer and the weather warmer, many of us become complacent about our home security. Statistics suggest that in ¼ of spring and summer break-ins, the burglars gain entry through insecure windows and doors, especially at the rear of the property. The crimes are generally opportunist, with the most common access points being: entry through insecure doors, usually occurring whilst the victim is in their back garden; entry through doors that are closed but left unlocked overnight; and open windows.
- Windows and doors should be closed and locked every time you leave the house – even small windows can provide thieves with an opportunity to reach through and snatch your valuables. The locks should be good quality, with resistance features such as those offered by the Yale Thumbturn: anti-snap, anti-bump, anti-pick and anti-drill. These specialist designs help to protect against all the commonly known attack methods.
- For those mild nights when the very thought of sleeping with the window closed is enough to make you break out in a sweat, think ahead and fit window restrictors so they cannot be forced fully open.
- Don’t assume that you’re safe from burglary because you haven’t left the premises; many crimes are opportunist and occur when occupants are in the back garden. If you venture to the rear of the property, ensure that all entry points (windows, doors etc.) at the front of your home are secure. It takes mere seconds for a burglar to enter your home and leave laden down with your possessions.
- Burglars are the magpie of the human species; to avoid tempting them with the promise of glittering prizes, make a conscious effort not to leave your valuables on display in front of windows or in reach of open windows or doors.
- Don’t aid offenders; ensure that all garden and barbecue equipment and tools are securely locked away and out of sight, as these can be used by burglars to break into your home.
- Invest in deterrents. Consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm system to deter burglars. Using pea shingle or gravel on a driveway can also act as an effective disincentive, as can growing spiky plants in your garden beds.
- The most practiced criminals will often have developed tools to ‘fish’ or ‘hook’ keys out through windows, letter boxes or cat flaps. Foil their plans by ensuring that you don’t leave your keys near these entry points.
- Ensure any internal handle operated locks on UPVC doors are fully secured with a key and fitted with a lock made to prevent lock snapping or bumping, methods used by burglars to break doors and enter homes. It is a good idea to fit anti snap door locks, such as the Yale Superior Series which has been specially created to combat these burglary techniques. These are affordable and easy to locate, with companies such as the Handle Store offering next day delivery.
Don’t get burnt this spring and summer… Follow these tips to prevent yourself from becoming the next victim of crime.