Craig Philips Home Advice Episode 5 - Home Security
Feeling safe in your own home is vital. Nothing shakes your feeling that your home is a safe place as being broken into. Although crime rates are down in the UK, as the recession continues burglaries are at a high. We're going to show you ways to put them off, and what to do about it if you do get burgled.
In Britain, a home is burgled every 37 seconds - that's about five burglaries by the time we've watched this video. Now, the first thing you must do if you discover that you've been burgled, is call the police. Do not put yourself at risk by disturbing the burglar, if they're still in your home. Use your mobile phone, or your neighbour's phone, to ring 999. While you're waiting for the police, try not to disturb anything. "Hello, police?"
Make sure that you make a list of everything you think has been taken, and get yourself a crime reference number from the police, as this will make it easier for your insurance company. Once you've completed your list, make sure you secure all the doors and windows - especially the ones that could have been broken into. Change your locks, and your insurance company may want to board up the windows, so do check with them.
Fortunately, there are a number of small actions you can take now to make your house more difficult to be burgled. A third of all burglaries are crimes of opportunity. A burglar simply takes advantage of an open door or window. By having a routine before you leave the house each day, is a great way of keeping these opportunists out.
After locking all the doors and windows, make sure the garden gate and shed is locked. Keep valuables out of sight, and if you leave the house in the evening, draw the curtains and turn the light on.
Another simple step to take is to make sure all doors and windows have suitable sturdy locks. You're ten times more likely to be burgled without basic home security. Police advise that front doors should be solid timer, with a British standard five-lever mortise lock about a third of the way up, and preferably an automatic deadlocking rim-lock a third of the way down.
Back doors need protection too, and should be solid timber, with a five-level mortise sash lock and two Mortise rack bolts or surface-mounted press bolts. Police advise that all solid doors should be 44mm thick. Any glazed panels should be reinforced and should be 6.4mm thick, and any UPVC doors should always lock with a key.
Stone and gravel drives are a great deterrent for burglars - it makes it virtually impossible to approach the house silently. Having a visible burglar alarm and security lighting on the front, back and side of the house is a great deterrent, but be selective about where you fit them, so they're out of reach of any intruder.
If you are using motion-sensitive security lighting, be careful where you position them, so they're not aggravating your neighbours, nor triggered off by pets and animals. You may also want to consider getting involved with the local Neighbourhood Watch or another similar group.
People tend to only increase the security in their homes after themselves or their neighbours have unfortunately burgled. But by following these tips, your house will become more secure and safe, and less likely to be burgled. With real security, comes real peace of mind.