Lock up and keep burglars away from present temptations
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.