Whether you are staying at home, or going away on holiday, here’s a reminder of our top tips to protect your home against burglary this summer:
In warmer months people naturally leave their doors and windows open. As a result, the most common cases of opportunist summer burglary involve offenders that
- Enter an insecure front door while residents are in the back garden
- Enter doors that are closed but unlocked at night while residents are asleep
- Reach through windows to take valuable items
Crime reduction advice
- Ensure that windows and doors are closed and locked when you are out. Don’t leave small windows open believing them to be safe.
- If you want to leave windows open while you sleep, fit window restrictors so they cannot be fully opened, or make sure they are not large enough to allow access to a burglar.
- When out in your garden ensure that windows and doors to the front of the house are secure. It only takes a second for someone to get into your home and take things without you noticing.
- Do not leave valuables on display in front of windows or in reach of open windows or doors.
- Ensure that all barbecue and garden equipment and tools are securely locked up in a shed and out of sight. Tools can be used by the potential offender to break in to your home.
- Consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm to help deter burglars. Even using pea shingle or gravel on a driveway and spiky plants in garden beds can help.
- Don’t leave any keys near entry points where they can be ‘fished’ or ‘hooked’ out through the window, letter box or cat flap.
- Ensure any internal handle operated locks on UPVC doors are fully secured with a key.
Garages & Sheds
Garages and sheds are often full of expensive tools to steal or use to break into the house. Do not leave a garage or garden shed unlocked, especially if it has a connecting door to the house. These are other steps you can take:
- Fit strong padlocks and hardware to shed and garage doors.
- Make sure that the doors are solid enough not to be kicked in.
- Fit locks or bars to windows.
- Lock ladders inside your garage or shed.
- Consider lockable steel boxes or anchor posts fitted to the floor to secure tools and equipment.
- Garden tools and machinery should be permanently marked with your postcode.
- Install a battery or mains-powered shed alarm, available from all good DIY stores at a reasonable price.
- For extra security, replace the screws in external hinges of your shed or garage side-door with ‘clutch-head’ screws (also known as ‘anti-tamper’ or ‘coffin’ screws).
- Secure your wheelie bin to stop an intruder using it to climb on.
Going on Holiday
- Make your home look occupied.
- If you’re out or going away, ask a trusted neighbour to open and close your curtains for you.
- Ask a neighbour if they don’t mind parking their car on your driveway and trimming your garden.
- Use a timer switch to turn on lights at night.
- Cut the front and back lawns before you go away and trim any plants that burglars could hide behind.
- Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries.
- Before your holiday, don’t advertise that you are going away on Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Register for the Royal Mail ‘Keepsafe’ service.
- Leave important documents and valuable personal items with other family members or a bank.
- Double-check that you’ve locked all outside windows and doors.
- Keep keys with trusted neighbours and family, or store them out of sight and away from your letterbox, doors, and windows.
- Use a RFID pouch to store fobs for keyless entry vehicles.
- Make sure no tools or ladders are accessible to break into your home.
- Set your burglar alarm.
If you have information on a suspected crime in progress, call 999. If you have information which could help police, please call the 24-hour Enquiry Centre on 101 or you can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For more tips to protect your home, download your free Home Security Guide from the Thames Valley Police website here.
By working together we can build community resilience to deter burglars from targeting homes within the area.