WHICH HOUSE IS THE BURGLAR'S CHOICE?
During the winter months the most important thing to prevent burglary is to make your home look as if it’s occupied. As it gets dark at around 3.30pm when many people are at work, the use of lights on timer switches is recommended and if you can, also put one on a radio tuned to a talk station which makes it sound like someone is in and having a conversation. Fake TV lights are now available, which gives the impression that someone is watching television, and these can work really well if you have them in an upstairs bedroom
Ensure that all doors and windows are closed and properly locked – use a key, don’t just lift the door handle. Take the keys out of the door when it’s locked and put them somewhere out of sight and reach, but make sure all the residents know where they are kept in case of emergency.
Restrict access to the rear of your property wherever possible – lock any side gates leading to the rear – as the back or patio doors are the most popular site of forced entry. Think about growing some thorny bushes along the garden fencing.
Install security lighting which not only helps you see where you’re going, it also warns you and your neighbours that someone is in the area.
Consider installing a burglar alarm – they are a real deterrent – but get an approved orrecommended model, as the cheap ones aren’t really that reliable and if the alarm keeps going off your neighbours will soon lose nterest and may ignore a real activation.
Patio doors are a common point of entry for burglars, as 95% of the glass fitted to the doors is toughened rather than laminated which is far more secure.
There are a number of steps you can take to help secure your patio doors. Fitting stronger, reinforced door handles prevents the handles being broken off to access the lock cylinder. Fitting a “Patlock” or similar device between both of the handles on the inside of French doors can help to strengthen the locking mechanism.
For a visual deterrent, fitting a glass shock alarm (about £5 each) to the glass makes burglars think that an alarm will sound when the glass is smashed or the door lock/handle is attacked forcefully.
You should always take steps to prevent intruders getting to the rear of your property by locking any side gates.
Simply fitting a length of 3”x2” wood that lies on the floor can prevent the attacked door from sliding open in some circumstances (if it’s the inner door that slides across and not the outer one)