Open for business

If you leave your open doors and windows open, you could be letting in more than fresh air.  A determined burglar can get through the smallest of open windows or slip through an open or unlocked door whilst you are out or even in another room or in the garden.

Properties with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures. Good window locks and strong deadlocks on doors can make a big difference to deter a criminal from entering your property.

Here are just a few simple steps you can take to make a difference to keep your property safe from burglars:

  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the property – even if you’re just popping out for a few minutes.  Remember to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)
  • Hide all keys, including vehicle keys, out of sight and away from doors
  • Install a visual burglar alarm and good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Leave radios or lights in your property on a timer to make it appear occupied
  • Make sure fences around the property are in good condition
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Store any high value items i.e. jewellery, passports, cash in a safe or other locked secured place

In many burglaries, criminals break into the property through the door, either by breaking the lock or kicking it in.  So make sure your doors are strong and secure. Consider fitting a bar for extra strength; a locksmith can advise you on how best to do it.

Glass panels on doors are particularly vulnerable. If you have one on your door you could replace it with laminated glass, which is stronger. You can also buy a film in a DIY store that you can stick over the glass to make it harder to break.

Home security and DIY shops sell inexpensive, key-operated locks to fit most kinds of windows. Fit window locks with keys to all downstairs windows and those upstairs that are easy to reach.

If you’re going away on a well-deserved holiday, make sure your home looks like someone is living in it.  Use automated timer switches to turn on lights and radios when it gets dark. Avoid sharing holiday plans on social media – save those wonderful photographs of your holiday until after you return from your trip to make criminals don’t know that your away from your home.