Home security is the best way to reduce your chances of being burgled.
Around 60% of burglaries carried out on homes fitted with burglar alarms are unsuccessful. This suggests that burglar alarms are a useful deterrent for opportune criminals.
The British Security Industry Association suggests that householders use a professional alarm installation company registered with a police recognised "alarm inspectorate" - ask to see your security company's registration documents, and look for the following accreditation:
- NSI - National Security Inspectorate
- SSAIB - Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board
Find companies which have been taken from the NSI and SSAIB websites.
If you are a home-owner aged 60 or over, you may be eligible for a Flexible Home Improvement Loan from the Council to help fund the installation work.
Never open your door to someone you do not know or aren't expecting. Most callers are genuine, but it's important to be on your guard. Always make sure a caller is who they say they are before letting them into your home.
- Lock - Keep your front and back doors locked, even when you are at home
- Stop - Before you answer, stop and think if you are expecting anyone. Check that you have locked the back door and taken the key out. Look through the spy hole or window to see who it is.
- Check - Check the persons identity card, even if you have a pre-arranged appointment. Close the door while you do this. If you are still unsure look up their phone number and ring to verify their identity. They may claim to be from the council, police or utility companies.
Always report any suspicious callers to Thames Valley Police via 101, or in an emergency 999.
By property marking your valuables with a UV Pen the police are more likely to identify if the property is yours, if you would like a free UV pen email email@example.com (please note pens are limited to one per household and subject to availability).
Unfortunately garden crime is a reality and garden tools left out can be seen as easy pickings for opportunist thieves. According to police statistics, the most likely items to be stolen are mowers, strimmers, chain saws, hedge trimmers, garden furniture and plants.
Nature herself provides one of the best solutions to many garden crimes, criminals do not like climbing through prickly plants and hedges. They know that a small amount of ripped clothing or blood can help the police identify them.
With careful thought and planning you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of garden crime, whilst at the same time creating an attractive garden, for instance you can create an impenetrable hedge, which looks far more attractive than security fencing but is just as effective.
For more advice on defensive planting please take a look out the leaflet below.
Here are a few simple tips to keep your shed tools safe:
Security mark all tools with your house number/name & postcode.
When you are finished with your tools lock them away in your shed. A ladder left out can be used to break into your house.
Lock your shed. A good lock should have a short shackle so it is not easy to cut off.
Make sure your windows, hinges & hasp fittings are strong as this can often be an entry point.
Cover windows so no one can look in to see what you have in your shed.
Fit a shed alarm.
Fit external motion activated security lighting.
Lock bicycles to a fixed structure.
Do not leave house doors and windows open whilst in the garden as an opportunist thief may take advantage whilst you are busy in the garden.
- keep front and back doors locked, even when you're at home
- install a burglar alarm with a visible alarm box
- fit a door chain and spyhole for extra security
- keep all valuables and keys out of sight and out of reach of doors and windows
- store high value items in a hidden safe
- mark your belongings and register them for free with Immobilise
- fit energy efficient security lighting
- do not leave spare keys in obvious places such as under doormats or plant pots
- keep items that could be used to break into your property such as ladders, tools and wheelie bins stored safely away
- lock side gates to prevent easy access to the rear of the property
- check fencing regularly to keep it in good repair
- use pea shingle on driveways or under windows, as it crunches loudly when stepped on
- trim overgrown hedges and plants to remove hiding places and improve surveillance
- use a timer switch to make your house look occupied, even when it isn't
- consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme