As we will be spending more time outside, we do not want to be leaving our homes insecure, whether that be leaving the window open or our external doors unlocked. The sad truth is that opportunistic thieves will be on the lookout for these things and treat it as an open invitation to your home. Don’t make it that easy for them.
· Always lock your door, even if you are in the house, and when you leave a room then make sure the window is closed. If you go out then make sure your home is secure.
· Also make sure that you don’ leave items such as keys, phones or wallets near to the front door. It makes it easy for these thieves and you can do something about it.
· If you need ventilation in rooms at least lock the larger window and only have the small window open, even during the daytime. If you only have bigger windows consider a lockable window restrictor or a small alarm sensor on the window to detect entry.
· Leaving a door or patio door open and in comes trouble, even during the day. If that door is accessible the sneaky thief will pop in and anything lying around will be gone, you may have only popped down the end of the garden or having a quick shower upstairs, it only takes a second.
· Before you turn in for the night do the “rounds” and check all is secure, some may think it is a bit over the top but you will feel more confident and less likely to become a victim.
Outside and Shed/Garden Advice
1. Keep your shed securely locked by using strong hasp and close shackle padlock. Use coach bolts or non-return screws to secure door hinges, hasp and staples.
2. Always put away gardening equipment, tools and furniture away when you’ve finished using them.
3. Mark garden furniture and DIY equipment with your postcode and house number (or name) by engraving or painting. For heavier metal items such as lawn mowers, use a hammer and set of punches.
4. Photograph valuable garden plants and ornaments to help identify them in the event of a theft.
5. Check your household insurance covers theft from your garden or outbuildings.
6. Keep your garden fences in good repair and consider having trellis on the top to discourage anyone climbing over.
7. Side gate shut and locked, sheds and garages secure?
Check the simple things
· Parked cars – are the windows shut and doors locked (don’t assume that by pressing the button on the remote it is locked, try the handle too)? A lot of thefts are from insecure cars and vans.
· Don’t leave unattended pedal cycles insecure and out the front. Make sure they are kept locked with a heavy duty bike lock.
· Doors closed and locked? Don’t forget on that UPVC multi-locking door you may have lifted the handle but until you turn the key on the inside you have not locked all the locks in place.
· Don’t forget to check that patio door, someone may have closed it but did they lock it?
· Windows – lift the blinds or open the curtains and check they are closed, the sun may have been on the TV and it was hot, so they were drawn with the window open. Remember the advice above re open windows. Make sure in case of fire that keys to windows and doors are readily accessible to occupants but not in view of possible burglars.
· If you have an intruder alarm activate the zone for the unoccupied area.
· Car keys – don’t take them to bed with you, where possible leave them in noisy drawer/location.
· If you do hear a suspicious noise in the house that you are not happy with dial 999, if you have an intruder remember your life is more important than your property, but do get a good description and if possible car index number.
Last bit of advice – Going on holiday? Stop the milk and newspaper deliveries and look after each other, get a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your property, ensure neighbours have contact numbers for a key holder and where possible let them park their car on your drive. Basically if you create the illusion that your house is occupied it is less likely to be broken into