Police Volunteer

Securing your home (to keep burglars out)

  • Being burgled is a traumatic experience; apart from any cost, it's an emotional feeling of violation
  • Improving your home security is the best was to reduce the chance of being a victim
  • Spending money on security is a good investment and adds peace of mind
  • Don't forget to take care of information you put on digital platforms
  • Take a look around your property and imagine how you would gain entry if locked out
  • You may b e surprised how easy it looks
  • Open windows or doors; insecure ladders; loose tools; out-of-sight from neighbours
  • Read through the sections below for a range of tips to keep your home safe
  • If your front or back door is insecure, so is your home
  • Keep doors locked even when at home (make sure everyone knows where the keys are in case of fire)
  • When replacing front or back doors always use accredited (and insurance approved) products
  • Reinforce glass panels with special security file (from most DIY stores)
  • Fit five-lever mortise deadlocks on all external doors
  • For uPVC doors ensure you have multi-point locks (at least three points)
  • Consider using a letterbox defender or restrictor to prevent burglars reaching through for keys
  • Check door hinges are fitted with strong, long screws; for added security, fit hinge bolts
  • Patio doors are vulnerable because they can be levered off their tracks
  • When buying have the sliding section on the inside and fit anti-lift blocks
  • Ensure you have multi-point locking (standard on modern doors)
  • Fit bi-folding and French doors with vertical top and bottom key-operated bolts
  • Windows left open are one of the most common causes of burglary
  • Window opening restrictors or sash stop allow a window to be open for ventilation but not enough to climb through
  • When installing new windows consider laminated glass (very hard to break) for downstairs
  • Fit window locks to downstairs windows and those that can be easily reached (such as over a flat roof)
  • Remove window lock keys and keep with house and car keys out-of-sight
  • Louvre windows and vulnerable; glue the slats in or fit regular windows
  • Consider security grills for vulnerable windows (but only if not a fire escape route)
  • Adding locks to uPPVC window sis a specialist job - seek advice from a locksmith first
  • Burglar alarms
  • Burglar alarms often deter burglars
  • There are many alarm systems available for professional or DIY installation - shop around
  • Police normally one respond to alarms when there is confirmation of suspicious activity (a report from a neighbour for example)
  • Monitored alarms, which are connected to a central service centre, are particularly important for isolated properties
  •  
    Lighting
  • Use high-efficiency, low-energy lights controlled by dawn-to-dusk switch
  • Lights with movement sensors can also be used
  •  
    CCTV, Webcams
  • Webcams now provide the cheapest form of CCTV for domestic use and are available for indoor and outdoor use
  • Sending video to a third party server will ensure pictures are still available to the police if tech camera is stolen or damaged
  • Outside cameras must not point at public spaces or other people's homes or gardens
  •  
    Gardens, gates and fences
  • Check for web spots in fences where a burglar might gain entry
  • A thorny hedge can put burglars off but ensure passers by still have a view of your premises
  • Burglars dislike gravel because of the noise it makes
  • Avoid pergolas or gazebos close enough to provide a route to upstairs
  • Anti-climbing paint can reduce opportunities for entry
  • use trellising on top of fences (it is noisy when broken); do not use razor wire for fear of being legally responsible for any injuries
  •  
    Passageways
  • Fit a strong, lockable gate to prevent access to the rear of your property
  • Use gates with vertical bars to avoid providing a 'ladder' (horizontal bars make for easy climbing)
  • For a shared passageway you made need Council permission for a lockable gate
  •  
    Garages and sheds
  • Tools in garages and sheds can be used to gain entry to your main dwelling
  • Never leave a garage open especially if it connects with your home
  • Fit strong padlocks to shed and garage doors
  • Store tools in lockable steel boxes secured to the floor
  • If ladders must be stored outside, chain them to a sturdy bracket
  • Cycles (motor and pedal) should be chained to anchor posts or sturdy metal brackets
  • Install a safe (away from windows and bolted to solid wall or floor
  • A fireproof safe can also be used to store important documents
  • Use a special marker, ink or paint (which can be seen under UV light) to record your post code and home number
  • Register valuables on the national property register
  • Register bicycles here
  • Before answering your door, check that the other door(s) are locked and use your spy hole or window to see who is calling
  • Even if your are expecting a visitor, check they are who you are expecting (phone their office not the number they give)
  • If someone claims to be from the police, council or utility company check their Id (and call their office if not satisfied)
  • Whilst verifying a caller's identity, securely close the door at which they are waiting
  • Fraudsters often pose as builders or gardeners and claim you have work needing to be done; never agree to work from such a casual call
  • If you suspect a caller is bogus report to the police by calling 101. If you are threatened, call 999
  • Never announce forthcoming holidays on social media; avoid tagging yourself at an airport
  • Wait until you return home to post holiday photos on line
  • Avoid sharing photos showing expensive jewellery
  • Use a PIN and/or password protection on all devices
  • Use a different, strong password for each personal account (banking, email social media etc)
  • Always use Two Factor Authentication (2FA) when available
  • A printed booklet with more detail on home security is available from your local police station