With break-in’s on the increase each year in England and Wales there has never been a better time to take a look at the security of your private home, office or your out buildings including sheds, garages and summer houses and to make sure that you are meeting at least the minimum security standards and keeping your property and your belongings safe.
According to the latest survey carried out by at least 30 police forces in England and Wales, homes with little or no security measures in place are in fact 5 times more likely to be broken into and burgled, and having good quality window locks and sturdy deadlocks can make a substantial difference and can also reduce your insurance premiums.
So what should you be looking at when assessing the security measures for your home or office?
Timber doors fixed to the front of your home or office should always be fitted with a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock around a third of the way up and some kind of deadlocking rim lock about a third of the way down to meet minimum security standards.
Timber doors fitted to the rear or the side of your home or office should also be fitted with a British Standard 5-lever mortice lock and a couple of mortice rack bolts or surface mounted press bolts.
Any modern UPVC Doors fitted to your property should have a minimum of three locking points and be internally glazed for added security. Also make sure that you always lock your UPVC doors with a key, even when you are home as simply pushing up the handle does not prevent someone from simple entering your home.
If you have a Sliding Patio Door it requires an anti-lift device to prevent a thief lifting it off its runners, these are easily fitted to the bottom of the door and are usually key operated.
What about Sheds, Garages, Summer Houses and other Outbuildings?
Garden Sheds, Garages, Summer Houses etc are regularly targeted by burglars. These outbuildings can often contain expensive items and due to their more isolated locations and lower security features they are seen by thieves as an easy target.
There are however a number of simple safety measures which you can put in place which can effectively reduce the risk of having these outbuildings broken into and their contents stolen.
Firstly though, It is advisable to check that your buildings and contents insurance covers the contents of your Garages, Summer Houses and other outbuildings from theft as not all of them do, also remember to check the excess in place.
A good tip is to look at your outbuildings and consider how you would break in and whether you would actually be aware of a break in if you where inside your home. It is important to have a good quality key or combination padlock and a good quality, strong hasp on the door with no exposed screws, motion sensor spot lights can also deter thieves.
Be sure to pay close attention to hinges on wooden shed doors as these are sometime easily removable by a screwdriver if the screws are exposed. If you have outbuildings with windows then these could be vulnerable unless they are protected with a wire mesh or a grill. It may be worth securing bikes inside the shed to some kind of wall or ground anchor or a heavy lockable stand to make it difficult to steal after a break in.
Putting an old sheet or an old blanket over lawn mowers, strimmers, barbeques or bikes to keep them out of view can put off a thief and marking your items with security pens and etching is a good idea too.
Have you considered an alarm for your Garden Shed, Garage, Summer House etc? A battery operated alarms can be purchased fairly cheaply and many will respond to movement with an extremely loud siren.
Following these essential security measures can make a huge difference and remember! Thieves will always go for the easiest option.