An intruder will often look for any opportunity and will usually spot the easiest way into your home. 27% of burglaries occur through insecurity, an open door or window and 18% by smashing a window. With that in mind this article is designed to get you to ask yourself the following questions:
- Where are there any gaps or weaknesses in the borders of my home?
- Could security measures be installed as a deterrent?
The intruder can only gain access easily if there are tools left out to help them gain entry or if the windows or doors are unlocked. Let us look in a bit more detail at the outside of your home and give some recommendations to improve security:
- Mend broken or weakened fence panels, especially after the recent high winds and storms
- Ensure that your garden gate can be locked from the rear garden
- Put all tools away after using, so that there are no handy spades or forks to jemmy open doors and windows, especially older style sliding patio doors
- Put a double lock on your garden shed
- Secure ladders with a substantial chain which is padlocked to an anchor on the ground/floor of a shed
- Add trellis to garden walls and fencing to make climbing more difficult
- Add defensive planting including, and which are very thorny or prickly
- Keep hedges, trees and bushes cut back so that the whole of the back garden can be seen more easily
- Keep a low front boundary (under 1m)
- Secure your wheelie bins behind a secure gate so they cannot be used to climb in a window higher up your property
Next let us think about deterrents:
- Add lighting – use ‘dusk to dawn’ low wattage bulbs and other outdoor lighting at a height of at least 2.5m
- Use CCTV but ensure you comply with regulations which can be found HERE.
- Add a burglar alarm – a full list of accredited installers can be found HERE or HERE
- Keep doors locked even when you are at home especially if you are less mobile and have care at home. Keep your keys out of sight and reach from letter boxes and cat flaps
- Fit a Secured By Design accredited key safe certified to British Standards LPS1175 for your spare key if required, to allow family or homecare carers in to support you safely. Ensure that you ask carers to scramble the code as soon as they take the key out so that someone cannot gain access to the code through an open key safe whilst they are inside supporting you
- Fit doors with 5-lever mortice deadlocks and check with a reputable retailer of windows and doors that you have the correct UPVC door and window locks in place
- Fit a spyhole so that you can see who is at the door especially if you live alone. Care staff should always wait for you to perform these checks before you open the door
- Use laminated glass in windows and any doors to the outside
- Close all windows and lock them when you go out
- Consider installing window shock alarms to downstairs windows and doors, which will sound if forced entry is detected or glass is smashed
- Property marking – use police approved forensic marking products found HERE in the Asset marking category
Lastly consider joining your Neighbourhood Watch. You will join like-minded neighbours who will by also keeping their eyes and ears open which will help keep potential criminals out of your area. You may also become part of the community and feel less isolated if you are a person who regularly spends most of their time in their home alone.
For more information visit the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Northamptonshire Police have launched a new website to help you to “Beat the burglar’. Find it HERE and find ways to secure the perimeter of your home and what to review security within your home as we come into spring and summer with our windows and doors open more frequently.