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Keep your home as safe as houses

Alert message sent 16/06/2020 21:11:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


Burglars often target homes they think contain valuables and a sure giveaway is leaving packaging from expensive items outside your front door. They also look for homes with windows or doors left open, insecure or with vulnerable features that they can exploit. Burglars often choose a home because they’ve spotted a specific vehicle, motorcycle or bicycle they want to steal – and the keys are more than likely to be inside the residence. It’s a fact that many burglars return to homes they’ve previously burgled because the homeowner failed to upgrade security following the first burglary and sometimes return to an area to burgle a nearby home that they spotted while committing a previous break in.

Doors
It is important to have doors that are as secure as possible, and to close and lock them at night and when you leave your home.
1. Make sure the mortice lock is double-locked at night and every time you leave your home.
2. If your door has a letterbox, a guard fitted to the rear of the door will prevent someone reaching in with a stick and a hook to fish for any nearby items such as a handbag or keys – which should never be kept near exterior doors. Consider cat flaps and dog flaps too.
3. Spy holes and security chains are recommended so that anyone visiting can be identified before you open the door.
4. Consider installing a video doorbell or CCTV system.

Patio doors
Sliding patio doors are vulnerable to forced entry, so check that yours have an anti-lift device fitted so they can’t be lifted out of the frame.
Some uPVC doors are fitted with locks that protrude from the frame on the outside (euro profile locks). If yours do, then consider getting a Master Locksmiths Association member to change the lock to a shorter one that can't be snapped off.

Windows
Burglars often target windows as they generally offer easier access than doors. Take a good look at your windows from the outside and remove potential access points where you can. Are there walls, bins or garden furniture that could be used to reach windows? For windows that are within reaching distance such as ground floors, see our tips below.
1. Laminated glass or security film is recommended for ground floor and accessible windows.
2. Sash stops prevent anyone opening sash windows enough to climb through.
3. Window opening restrictors allow you to ventilate your home but make sure that they can’t be picked and unlocked from outside.
4. Key operated locks are recommended for window types that open out, rather than up, and any ground floor or accessible windows. Remember, window locks are only effective if used, so check you have locked them before you leave home or go to bed.

Garages, sheds and detached garages
Garages and sheds should be fitted with secure locks. Additionally there are solar powered lights and alarms available that will deter a thief from targeting your property.
Security Mark and register tools and other items you have stored there and padlock items such as bikes, lawnmowers and even BBQs.
Many detached garages are tucked away from the view of passing traffic or local residents so are often targeted by thieves.
When did you last visit your garage and ensure the garage door lock actually works?
Garage doors are usually light weight and supplied with only a basic type lock that can be forced with a screwdriver or similar bladed tool so any door will benefit from the installation of additional security locks. Mortice locks or lockable bolts fitted down towards the bottom corners reduce the risk of offenders gaining access by prising the bottom of the door.
Security Mark and register tools and other items that you store in your garage so that they can be identified. Consider chaining items to secure shelves and installing anchor points to which motor bikes or bicycles can be padlocked.

Further information and advice can be obtained from the Thames Valley Police web site at www.thamesvalley.police.uk.
Information on approved security products can be found at www.securedbydesign.com

Should you have any information regarding burglary or those persons committing offences you are encouraged to contact the Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on free phone 0800 555 111.

Message sent by
Karen Collins (Police, Admin/Co-ordinator, Wokingham)

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