Home Security Advice
Reduce the likelihood of your house being burgled by checking your security, think about the impression a burglar would get if they looked at your house. The more obstacles that you put in the way of a burglar the better.
Take into consideration the points below.
Using the onion peeling principle, start on the outside of your house and work inwards. Look firstly at the boundary/perimeter of your house. Look at your house in the eyes of a burglar. Have one entry/exit. Have a boundary such as a fence, railings or a country hedge. Having one entry/exit can make a burglar feel trapped or cornered, especially if you have a substantial boundary.
- Make sure the entrance to your house is over looked, to allow for natural surveillance by passing vehicles, people on foot and neighbours. Low boundaries/perimeters help natural surveillance. High boundaries (over 6ft) should be used for rear gardens for maximum security.
- Low-level dusk/dawn lighting controlled by a photo-electric cell is recommended. Passive infra-red lighting; which is widely used, can be set off by passing animals or blowing trees, therefore may increase the fear of crime. Consider rear lighting only if the back of your house is overlooked, otherwise you will assist the burglar rather than hindering.
- If windows and doors are secured properly they can significantly increase the time it takes a burglar to enter the premises. Look at your window frames, buy window locks and get a specialist to fit them for you, a member of the Master Locksmiths Association. A properly fitted window to British Security Standard, will force the burglar to take more time, cause more noise and extra visibility. Think about laminated glass, it is difficult to break. Windows on the ground floor will be an obvious first choice for the burglar, if you have poor security on the upstairs windows they may target those instead. Consider anti-climb paint for your drainpipes and anything that could assist climbing. Make sure valuables are not visible from the outside of your house, if you can see items through your windows think about blinds or net curtains.
- Doors at the back of your house are particularly vulnerable. Having a good lock on a door with a frame in bad condition is useless. Buy a lock that is suitable for the thickness of the door. Check panelled doors; some can have poor quality wood, which offers little resistance to forced entry.
- Secure patio doors with extra patio door locks; sometimes the hook lock fitted is insufficient. Burglars often hoist the patio door, which releases the whole door; most modern doors prevent this. It is possible to install an anti-lift device.
- Post-coding items of value within the home allow you to identify your property. You can use an ultra-violet marker or a diamond tipped engraver (for cameras, small electrical items). Make a note of serial numbers and photograph antiques or valuable goods.
- Look at your house from the outside, and replicate that look for when you are away. Use timer switches to switch from the living room lamp to the bedroom lamp at the usual time you go to bed.
More information regarding the principles outlined above can be found at www.crimereduction.gov.uk web site.
Alternatively this Word Document shows a household security risk assessment. It is designed for you the householder to quickly assess your own security and identify weak points. If any of your answers fall within the highlighted sections please take immediate action to improve in these areas.