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Good home security is the best way to reduce your chances of being burgled.

Home security

Good home security is the best way to reduce your chances of being burgled.

Here are a few tips:

  • Doors and windows - lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden. For added safety and security fit a spy hole and door chain or limiter. These will enable you to deal with callers to your front door whilst retaining a level of security. Putting a restrictor on the inside of your letterbox will prevent anybody reaching through to open the door. Never hang a spare key inside the letterbox. Consider fitting a letterbox cage or other restrictor, which prevents thieves from putting their hands through the letterbox and trying the latches from the inside.
  • Personal items - Store valuable items (including passports, driving licences and bank statements) out of view. Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight. Hide cash and wallets away.
  • Exterior lighting - install good outside lighting. Lighting should be seen as an aid, but on its own it is not sufficient to deter a burglar.
  • Interior lighting - A sensible arrangement of leaving lights switched on inside the house while the house is unoccupied can help to give the impression to a passer-by that the house is in fact occupied.
  • Garages and sheds - Never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house. Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home. Fit strong padlocks to shed and garage doors, and make sure that the doors are solid enough to withstand forced entry. make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition.

Security alarms

Install a visual burglar alarm that complies with the latest European Standards.

The variety of alarms and their fitting is a complex subject. As a starting point the installation should meet with British Standard 4737/BS EN 50131. This type of installation refers to hard-wired systems as opposed to wire-free. Though more expensive than many wire-free or DIY packages on the market, they are more reliable and conform to the Association of Chief Police Officers Intruder Alarm Policy. The only wire free system which conforms both to British Standards and the National Police Chiefs' Council Intruder Alarm Policy is a BS 6799 Class VI alarm. 

This type is typically more expensive than its hard-wired counterpart. Be aware that systems that claim to meet with British Standards, but don't specify BS 4737/BS EN 50131 or 6799, may well be referring to the electrical standard and not that of the alarm system.

The door itself should be at least 44mm thick. Use 'high-security' deadlocks that carry a British Standard 3621 or the equivalent European Standard EN12209. Consider fitting a London Bar (metal strip on frame side) to support the strike box, or Birmingham bar to support the frame on the hinge side. If the door is weak consider fitting a sheet steel plate or door reinforcer​ on the outside covering the lock area.​