Burglary is for the most part an opportunistic crime and there is a good deal that can be done to prevent easy pickings. Burglars are looking for a home that gives them the easiest method of committing their crime undetected. Two out of ten burglars do not need to use any force to gain entry and three out of ten get in to the property through a rear window.
You can avoid making the burglars entry an easy one with steps as follows;
- Invest in good locks with specific attention to patio doors together with window locks to accessible windows.
- Growing prickly shrubs underneath windows.
- Erecting a high gate across any side passage way on the property.
- Ensuring side gates are padlocked.
- Ensure that all ground floor windows are closed when the occupants are out or asleep.
- Keep any ladders out of sight and preferably padlocked preventing use to gain access to inaccessible windows.
- Lock away garden tools and other implements which could be used to break a window.
- Keep hedges at a reasonable height so that burglars can be seen from the road.
- Do not leave a spare key about the premises outside, burglars know all the hiding places.
- Do not leave keys near the front door within easy reach of the letter box.
- Security lighting is considered a deterrent.
- Make sure that there are no valuables specifically on show.
- Any empty boxes advertising that expensive equipment has recently been purchased should not be exhibited by the waste bin.
- It is imperative that the home appears to be lived in;
- Avoid any post piling up by asking a trusted friend or neighbour to remove it.
- Cancel any milk deliveries and news papers.
- Leave lights on a timer switch and ask someone to close the curtains at night and open them in the morning.
- Leave a radio on a timer switch which will give the indication that the house is occupied.
- Ask a neighbour to park on the drive.
- Disconnect any answering machine.
- Take photographs of valuable jewellery items beside a ruler to indicate its size.
Finally if the property is protected by a burglar alarm it is imperative that it is activated every time the property is vacated.
There are certain groups who might be targeted where additional precautions are suggested. i.e.: Students, Senior citizens and those moving house;
- Be aware who is let in to student accommodation or who is following you into the building.
- Even if just quickly visiting a friend’s room or kitchen, lock ones own room door.
- Mark valuables with ultra violet ink with the university and student I.D.
- Be aware of the smart dressed caller purporting to be from the local authority’s gas, electric and water companies. Look carefully at any I.D. cards. Many companies such as the gas and electric companies have the facility of a prearranged password system.
- Provide a spy hole in the front door and keep a security chain on when talking at the door.
- Never employ a builder who just turns up at the door suggesting that there are repairs needed to the property.
- Ensure the estate agent is discreet with the details they give out.
- Resist viewing without appointments.
- If a key is left with an estate agent ensure it is returned.
- If there is any previous history of theft on your new property the locks should be changed.
- Small items of valuables such as jewellery should be taken to the bank on the day of removal.
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