Safe & Sound: How to Beat Burglars & Protect Your Property.

January 4, 2016 10:58 am Published by

Domestic burglary figures fell to a 35-year low in 2015, yet there were 785,000 offences reported to the Office for National Statistics by households in England and Wales. However, not all were reported to the police, as official figures recorded 411,425 crimes.

There are a range of things you can do to avoid becoming part of the statistics. The police recommend burglar alarms and external lights and Michael Fraser, a former burglar turned television presenter, says: “Burglars are looking for weaknesses, these are the things that attract a burglar to your property in the first place.

If they can see into the property and there are no window locks, and valuables are on show, a burglar will be attracted to that. It shows that people aren’t that careful with their possessions.”

Fraser, who is the author of How Safe Is Your Home? recommends the use of an additional five-lever mortise lock on the front door, because a Yale lock can be opened in seconds by a thief. He also advises fitting a letterbox cage to prevent a burglar using a pole to “fish” keys from the hall table, or opening the Yale lock from inside.

The former burglar says the best place to store valuables is in the loft. A burglar will go into the loft if they are brave but not many choose to because once they do, they are stuck and there is no easy escape route. It’s also a good idea to store bags and suitcases up there, so the burglar can’t use them to carry away the things you store elsewhere.

Fraser advises that you watermark all your valuables and advertise this with a window sticker. “If you don’t have window locks, if you don’t have a sticker saying you are Neighbourhood Watch, or saying your items are watermarked, if there is no cage on the letterbox to stop fishing through it – things like that attract burglars,” he says.

Common sense also plays a part. He says people should tidy away garden tools and lock sheds so they cannot then be used to break in. Do not have a window-facing calendar with the dates you’re away on holiday, and if you have two locks on a front door, make sure you use them, he adds.

For several insurance companies, there is only a minimum-security requirement applied to home insurance policies. These minimum security requirements include things such as key-operated locks on all accessible windows and on all final exit doors people should have a mortise deadlock with at least five levers, a lock that conforms to British Standard BS3621:1998 or higher, or a key-operated multi-point locking system.

There are many products you can buy that promise to deter burglars. A few of these could be indoor cameras which can be accessed remotely by your smart phone and receive alerts.  These cameras can also have alarms that can be triggered remotely. Furthermore, fake burglar alarms can be purchased cheaply online along with window stickers advertising your items are watermarked or that you are in a Neighborhood Watch area.

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