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General Home Security Advice
Your home and your possessions belong to you. No one has the right to enter your home to take your property without your permission. Two thirds of all crime reported to the police, including burglary and theft, involve dishonesty. Each year about 30,000 house burglaries are reported to the police.

YOUR PROPERTY SECURE

But you can make it hard for thieves and burglars by taking simple, common sense precautions and properly securing your property. You can take the opportunity for crime away from criminals. You needn't make your home a fortress, but for some expense, you needn't feel vulnerable either. You have the right to feel safe in your own home. Discourage unwanted intruders.

The following are some precautions you could take:

  • Always lock your doors and close your windows when you are out, and especially at night when you are home.
  • Don't tell strangers your name by having it on your letter box.
  • Install deadlocks on exterior doors, including an internal door to a garage. Then burglars cannot open the doors and easily escape with your belongings. Keep the key in the lock when you're at home.
  • Fit window locks on your windows and hide the keys. Burglars will be reluctant to break the glass to get in and risk being heard or injured by the glass.
  • Burglars can easily slide the glass out of louvre windows and squeeze through. Install bars or a grille to stop them getting in, or glue the glass into place with epoxy resin.
  • Install night security lighting that is sensitive to movement. It will turn on when some one crosses its path.
  • Hide your outside key in a very out-of-the-way place where prowlers are unlikely to find it. Don't put it under the doormat.
  • Fit lockable bolts on sliding ranch doors and on French doors. Make sure they are locked and hide the keys.
  • Have a porch light, a solid front door, and a door viewer so you can see who is knocking. Ask people to identify themselves before you open the door.
  • Keep your garage or basement locked. A strong staple padlock will keep it more secure. If you keep a freezer there, consider a padlock on that too.
  • Lock ladders and put away tools.

So often people only install secure locks or alarm system after they have been burgled. Why not install them before you could be burgled and reduce the risk? Find out the cost of door deadlocks and get a few quotes for having them installed if you cannot do it yourself. Individually, window locks are reasonably cheap. But the cost of them on all your windows does add up. A good locksmith will give you the right advice.

GOING ON HOLIDAY

Arriving home and finding you've been burgled spoils a good holiday. These simple precautions will help deter burglars:

  • Cancel your newspapers. Have a friend or neighbour collect junk mail.
  • Have the Post Office hold or re-direct your mail, or have someone reliable collect it.
  • Turn down your telephone ring so thieves don't know it's unanswered. Don't leave a message on your answerphone saying you're away.
  • Have a light connected to a timer that turns on at night.
  • Tell relatives or neighbours where you're going, how long you'll be away, leave a contact telephone number and address.
  • Arrange for someone to mow your lawn.
  • Don't dose the curtains or blinds.

    Try not to advertise your absence. It's fairly easy to make your home look lived in while you're away. You could, for instance, leave large size shoes at the front door, get someone to call by to check your house, rearrange the curtains, hang out washing, or park their car in your drive. Your holiday will be all the more enjoyable with that extra peace of mind. If you return home and find you have been burgled, call the police. Do not touch anything. You may destroy any evidence.

MARK YOUR VALUABLES

Experienced thieves will sometimes only take cash which cannot be identified. But your home contains all sorts of attractive, high value and portable items which can be easily sold. It is sensible to identify items such as televisions, cameras, video recorders, computers stereos, with indelible markers, etching or engravings showing your life time drivers license number. Keep a note of serial numbers. You may want to take photos or videos of other valuable items such as paintings, jewellery, silver and antiques. Your local police could give you advice on this.

ALARMS

Alarms can be a good idea for some homes. But remember, an alarm system won't stop a burglar from getting into your house. The alarm will only tell you that a burglar has visited.

For this reason, making your home secure with good, strong locks, doors, windows and lighting, should always take first priority.

Consider carefully whether you need an alarm system, what sort would be best, and get professional advice. Look in the Yellow Pages and discuss your requirements with at least two or three firms. They will need to fully inspect your home in order to advise you on what is appropriate for your property.

IN AN EMERGENCY DIAL 111

Police are available 24 hours a day. In an emergency phone 111. Tell the operator you want the Police, Ambulance, or Fire Service. The phone number 111 is a priority line and help will come as soon as possible. Stay calm when making the call, and do not hang up. Give your name, address, town and telephone number to the operator answering your call. Answer questions slowly and clearly. Emergency calls are free from all telephones, including payphones and cellular phones.




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Your home and your possessions belong to you. No one has the right to enter your home to take your property without your permission.

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