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Home and property security tips

26th March 2017

Ah, there you were. I was just thinking about you and wondering what you'd like for Easter. I considered the obvious option of chocolate eggs, but you said they went straight to your thighs. So then it was going to be daffodils, but they make you sneeze. So eventually, I decided my gift to you would be a blog about keeping your house safe. No, it's NOT just what I do each month. This is a special Easter edition, replete with Easter references, and to claim it isn't would just make me cross. Cross - see, there's another of those Easter references. 

Suffering a break-in can turn one into a right hot cross bunny (okay, bit obvious that one) as well as being one of the most upsetting life experiences that one can suffer. As well as the financial heartache, victims are left heartbroken by the loss of sentimental items, and the blow to one's own sense of security can run much deeper with psychological repercussions for years to come. For these reasons, prevention is always much better than the cure - and the reason why I'm always banging on about taking preventative steps to avoid being the victim of burglary. I'd much rather be called to your house to fit measures that stop a burglary taking place than be summoned to deal with the aftermath of a break-in.

Today, in looking at the steps you can take to keep your property secure, I'll cover the holy trinity (vaguely Easterish, isn't it?) of how to a) prevent an attempted burglary in the first place, b) restrict burglar access should the attempt happen, and c) how to lessen the impact of any potential burglary, making it harder for any intruder to successfully carry off your worldly goods. 

a) Preventing the burglary attempt

Mastering this is the best possible outcome as you don't have to deal with the physical and psychological aftermath of someone trying to force access to your home. This approach basically consists of trying to make your property as unattractive as possible to burglars - an approach that has served me well  on Tinder. Seriously though (that was a joke, honestly..), this doesn't mean you make your house look ugly - it just means not advertising the fact that there may be valuable pickings to be had inside. Keep high value items out of view, shred or destroy any sensitive information, and if you get a new TV or iPad, be careful how you dispose of the packaging. Simply turning a box inside out will avoid attracting the attention of thieves trawling the area on bin night, after the latest gadget.

Included in this category is being careful about advertising when you're away from the house. Use a timer to turn on lights or a radio, invite a neighbour to park on your drive, and ask a friend to pick up your post and come in to open or close curtains, all to give the impression that the house is occupied. Avoid posting on Facebook that you're away, and remember the old standard of cancelling newspaper or milk deliveries when you're away.  Fitting a burglar alarm and security lights will also give the casual house breaker second thoughts, and encourage them to move on to another, less troublesome target. 

b) Preventing burglar access

In this instance, a burglar has unfortunately decided to target your house. But this is where we can still deter them. As you'd expect, locks are a big part of this - they're the most important aspect of property security so don't skimp on these. Commission a locksmith to carry out a security survey of your property, looking at all doors, windows and gates

At the bare minimum, ensure all locks meet current home insurance regulations. I'd encourage you to go further than this though. Anti-snap locks are a necessity, preventing the notorious lock-snapping that can be carried out by a criminal in a matter of seconds. Fitting antisnap locks on all external doors is to be recommended and, of course, make sure you keep them locked! The best lock in the world will serve no use if you make a habit of leaving them unlocked when you're out or go to bed.  Along with this, ensure you keep your house keys well out of sight. Leaving them near a window or door is asking for trouble as someone can just break a small window, reach in, and then have free run of all your property. 

c)  Lessen the impact

If we assume that the worst has happened, and despite the above steps, a burglar has managed to access your house, this still does not have to be a total disaster. It won't be pleasant, of course not, but we can minimise the impact of such an instance. Remember that a burglar does not want to stay in your house for long - they want to be in and out as quick as you can say "Easter bunny" (you thought I'd forgotten, didn't you?). So make it hard for them to make off with a valuable haul in this time. Keep cash, wallets and purses out of sight and preferably in a drawer or cupboard where a burglar would not instantly look. Frequently, house break-ins occur purely in order to take car keys and then make off with your car so hide away these keys too. Keeping them on a hall table is exactly what the burglar would want. 

Keep any high value items such as money, jewellery etc in a house safe. These can now be bought relatively cheaply and can prove an invaluable investment when it comes to keeping your precious items out of the hands of any intruders. Also think about marking your property with ultraviolet pens. This can help the police quickly recover and return stolen property back to you, should they catch up with the culprit.

Happy Easter from SF Locksmiths of Rotherham

Hopefully you picked up a new tip or two from those three categories and they at least gave some food for thought. Because we eat food at Easter, remember. Okay, I'm struggling now with the Easter theme,  I must admit. But regardless, have a good one out there, and for advice on anything lock-related, or to enquire about upvc door repairs or replacements, call 01709 711055 and we will be pleased to assist.

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