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Rotherham security advice

12th October 2015

I don't know about you, but I've been enjoying the series of poetry programmes on the BBC recently. Yes, really! Just because I'm a locksmith it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to like poetry, y'know - don't judge a book (or poetry anthology) by its cover! 

Anyway, the programmes got me thinking about poetry related to this time of year. There is of course the famous mists and mellow fruitiness of Ode to Autumn by John Keats, for which I, as a renaissance locksmith obviously have a soft spot because the author's name sounds rather similar to keys. But moving on, another of my recommendations is Autumn Song by Dante Gabriel Rossetti I find the whole poem really quite evocative, full of metaphor and meaning. Google the whole thing if you've never read it, but the first two lines go:

                                       Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
                                         How the heart feels a languid grief

"Hang on," I can sense you're thinking. "Isn't this a locksmith blog? If I wanted poetry I'd switch on chuffing Radio 4. "Well wait a second, I'm getting there. Because I'll now seamlessly (or not so seamlessly) segue to the subject at hand - Autumn, and more specifically the more unsavoury aspects it brings. To illustrate, I'll dreadfully mangle Rossetti's first two lines above to the following:

                                     Know'st thou not that the sound of a thief                                                                           Will cause a household misery and grief                                

First things first, yes it's quite rubbish, doesn't scan properly, and Rossetti's lawyers are probably penning a letter right now (rest assured my locksmith skills well outshine my poetry talents), but there is also a truth in those altered words. 

Because this period from now until Spring is the favourite time of the year for your average burglar. The darkness should really be charged with aiding and abetting such is the advantage it gives the housebreaker. (to avoid confusion, I'm referring to the ACTUAL darkness and not to the early 2000s Suffolk rock band), Year in, year out, the cover of darkness leads to an increase in the number of burglaries, so here's an annual reminder of practical steps you can take to try and prevent you ever having to think about my mangling of Rossetti ever again. 

Simple steps to keeping your home safe this autumn

Ensure anti-snap locks are fitted - I know I sound like a broken record on this but there's a good reason why - every week i get calls from homeowners who have had their homes broken into. I arrive on the scene of a burglary to find locks that have been snapped in a matter of less than a minute by intruders, is ridiculously easy. The old style euro locks take such little effort to breach but fitting non-snappabe locks is such a simple solution to this. It's so frustrating seeing the distress that this causes from these burglaries, knowing they're so preventable and if you take just one thing from this blog, please make it this. Get anti snap locks fitted by a qualified locksmith. Go on! Now! Well, after you've read the rest of the blog. But then do it!

Working Burglar Alarm - Seven out of ten houses in the UK still do not have a house alarm, despite them being well proven to be one of the best deterrents out there. Even when a burglar isn't deterred, research has shown that half of all attempted break-ins on alarm-fitted properties end unsuccessfully with a burglar fleeing, either from fear, or because the alarm has alerted neighbours or the police. A house alarm is another of the greatest assets we have in the fight against house crime. 

Security lighting - it's getting darker earlier so the simple way to counteract this is to ensure you have adequate outdoors lighting. A motion-activated outside light can be purchased for under ten pounds and will help ensure the burglar is exposed and unable to simply  hide away in the shadows. There are even motion activated sensers that work inside the home and can be played back on your smart phones. 

More recommendations I'd make would include clearing away garden furniture and tools for the winter and securing them in a locked shed or garage. If you're leaving the house empty for any significant period, consider investing in timers for interior lights so it looks as if the house is occupied. Obviously, don't leave valuables anywhere they can be seen from outside, and consider a fitted safe for any small items of significant financial or sentimental value. Finally, get into the habit of making sure all doors and windows are locked, not only when you're out or have gone to bed, but also when you're in another part of the house, perhaps where the television would drown out the noise of anyone entering. 

That's about all from me for now.  Let's forget the poem every happened as I now have Morrissey's voice stuck in my head, specifically the refrain from Frankly Mr Shankly

                                     Oh, I didnt realise that you wrote poetry                                                                    I didn't realise you wrote such bloody awful poetry

Everyone's a critic.

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