Lock up and keep bur­glars away from present temp­ta­tions

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Steffan Ge­orge

DARKER, longer nights, ex­pen­sive gifts stacked un­der the Christ­mas tree or kept in the garage, home­own­ers and ten­ants tak­ing breaks away, vis­it­ing friends and fam­ily and leav­ing their prop­er­ties empty… all of th­ese fac­tors can pro­vide op­por­tu­ni­ties (and temp­ta­tions) for thieves.

It’s vi­tal, there­fore, to re­view your home’s se­cu­rity ahead of the fes­tive sea­son and en­sure that you don’t fall vic­tim to a po­ten­tial bur­glary.

When re­view­ing your se­cu­rity, start from the out­side in: you could, for in­stance, in­stall dusk to dawn sen­sor light­ing, which will not only de­ter po­ten­tial thieves but will also light your way to the door in the dark – and help you search for those elu­sive keys!

Se­cu­rity sen­sor light­ing will also il­lu­mi­nate ob­scured or par­tic­u­larly dark ar­eas of your gar­den and grounds – again act­ing as a de­ter­rent and no­ti­fy­ing you to any pres­ence out­side. Also, be sure to lock any gar­den tools and lad­ders se­curely away, as well as fix­ing any bro­ken fenc­ing or cracked win­dows, as th­ese might pro­vide ac­cess points to po­ten­tial in­trud­ers. You should also fit a lock to the gar­den gate too.

If you plan to be away dur­ing the Christ­mas pe­riod, make sure you don’t pub­li­cise the fact on so­cial me­dia plat­forms such as Face­book or Twit­ter. You should con­sider in­stalling a num­ber of light timers around the house, so that po­ten­tial in­trud­ers think some­one is at home – it’s a sim­ple, cheap de­ter­rent, and means your home won’t look dark and empty, at a time when many homes will be lit up, with peo­ple com­ing and go­ing.

In ad­di­tion, “fake TVs” can be used that emit chang­ing light pat­terns sim­i­lar to those emit­ted by a tele­vi­sion – again cre­at­ing the ef­fect that the prop­erty is oc­cu­pied.

We’d al­ways ad­vise home­own­ers to have a bur­glar alarm fit­ted if they don’t al­ready have one, and to al­ways en­sure they set the alarm and change the code reg­u­larly.

Another sim­ple mea­sure to re­duce the chance of your home be­ing bro­ken into is to keep gifts out of sight … and not just from the kids!

If you are keep­ing presents in out­build­ings or garages, en­sure that th­ese are pro­tected by high qual­ity locks and/or pad­locks, which are in good con­di­tion.

The in­de­pen­dent se­cu­rity prod­uct test­ing house Sold Se­cure – www.sol­dse­cure.co.uk – is a good source of in­for­ma­tion on Third Party Ap­proved se­cu­rity prod­ucts.

If you’re con­cerned about pro­tect­ing your home this Christ­mas, ask a lo­cal vet­ted, in­spected and fully qual­i­fied lock­smith, such as a Mas­ter Lock­smiths As­so­ci­a­tion mem­ber, to in­spect your doors and win­dows (in­clud­ing in­ter­nal doors to con­ser­va­to­ries and garages) to make sure they all have the most ap­pro­pri­ate locks, they are in good con­di­tion, prop­erly fit­ted and meet insurance re­quire­ments.

An MLA mem­ber will also be able to pro­vide ad­vice about ad­di­tional se­cu­rity mea­sures, such as win­dow grilles, bars and CCTV.

If you are buy­ing ex­pen­sive jew­ellery and want ex­tra of se­cu­rity, there is a range of safes on the mar­ket, from free stand­ing units to floor and wall-fit­ted prod­ucts, that can pro­vide ad­di­tional peace of mind. MLA mem­bers can ad­vise on in­stal­la­tion, insurance re­quire­ments and spec­ify and sup­ply the kind of safe to meet your needs.

You should also con­sider your own in­flu­ence on se­cu­rity for your home and make sure you stop bad habits such as leav­ing keys in locks or in view or for­get­ting to lock gar­den gates.

Home­own­ers and ten­ants should note the tele­phone num­bers of their near­est MLA li­censed lock­smiths by vis­it­ing www.lock­smiths.co.uk or ring­ing the MLA’s free num­ber – 0800 783 1498.

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