Security Health Check

In these days of increasing incidents of crime it is not unnatural for any responsible home owner to feel some concern about the possible threat of burglary.

While it is important to recognise such concerns, it is also important that they are kept in perspective. Remember, when they occur, almost 80% of burglaries are carried out by opportunists, not professionals, and almost always when the house is empty. The vast majority of burglaries are therefore made where there is vacant, easy access and where the burglars can get in and out quickly. If they have to take time getting in or risk being seen then the chances are that they will not bother.

By adopting simple and effective security precautions for your home you can deter and discourage such burglars and ensure added protection and safety for your home and family.

How Secure Is Your Home?

To assess your security needs imagine you are a burglar attempting to gain entry to your home! How would you get in? Every home, of course, will be different but here is the Chubb checklist of common weak spots that you might consider.

Front Door Should have a BS3621 Kitemarked 5 or 7 lever mortice lock with a cylinder rim lock. A door chain and door viewer for added security should also be considered?

Side and Back Doors Ideally fit a 5 or 7 lever BS3621 mortice lock together with top and bottom door bolts.

Ground Floor Windows Windows are the most common point of forced entry, especially at the rear of the house. Fit window locks on all ground floor windows.

Upstairs Windows Pay particular attention to upstairs windows that could be accessible from flat roof, drainpipe, etc or which are protected from easy view by trees or fences. All vulnerable windows should be fitted with an appropriate lock.

French Windows / Patio Doors Fit appropriate locks to top and bottom of doors.

Outbuildings Sheds and garages often contain tools that would be useful for a burglar so ensure all outbuildings are secured by appropriate mortice lock or padlock.

Security Lighting Passive Infra Red lighting which is activated by movements offers a great deterrent to burglars as well as providing courtesy lighting for owner. Should be fitted on front and rear of the house.
Look For The Kitemark (BS3621: 1980)

When selecting security locks it is recommended that the home owner should seek to buy highest level of security that he or she can afford. It is advised, therefore, that home owners should aim to fit door locks that are certified to BS3621 whenever possible or practical and which can be identified by the British Standard Kitemark symbol. This symbol indicates that the locks are independently tested to pass a series of strenuous and exhaustive tests to prove their reliability and durability under several types of attack, including force, drill, hacksaw and picking.

As such they are widely recommended by Police Crime Prevention Officers and insisted upon by many insurance companies for normal domestic security.

Sensible Precautions!

Buying and fitting security locks for your home is the important first step towards effective home security. The second important step, is to learn to be secure. Fitting the locks is not enough in itself. You also have to get into the habit of using them and to adopting a practical, sensible and convenient approach to home security.

Remember that over 30% of burglaries are made through a door or window that has simply been left open.

In this section Chubb offers some practical hints and guidance on how the homeowner can best develop the security habit and so greatly reduce the chances of casual burglary.
Fit Them..........Use Them!

Once you have fitted security locks make sure that you use them. Establish a routine for checking the door and window locks before retiring for the night. Get into the habit of always locking the doors and windows when you go out - even if it's just next door or down to the shops.
Don't Take Chances

Don't leave your key in the lock and resist the temptation to place your key under the mat or flower pot in your porch. This may be convenient for you but it is even more convenient for the burglar.

If you are going away remember to cancel the papers and the milk. If you have a trusted neighbour or friend ask them to check the house regularly and to collect the post. For extended trips away such friends might also be persuaded to mow the lawns! Do not leave a "gone away" message on your answerphone.

The garden shed or garage contain a lot of tools useful for a burglar. When you go out make sure that they are locked and keep the key about you or secured indoors.
Mark Your Property

It is advisable that you mark all your valuable household items with your house number and postcode. Special ultra violet property marking pens are available in most good DIY stores and security retail outlets.
Check Callers

If someone calls at your house claiming to be from the gas board, electricity, water or telephone company etc, or representing a commercial or retail company, then always insist on proof of before letting them in. Don't be afraid of any embarrassment. Genuine callers will expect and be pleased to offer proof. If you are still suspicious then telephone the company concerned for verification while your caller waits outside behind the locked front door.
Neighbourhood Watch

It is recommended that you join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme if there is one operating in your area. The scheme will provide friendly neighbourhood support as well advice on all aspects of home security.

If you've any doubts or queries about your own home security then do not be afraid to seek professional advice. Your Crime Prevention Officer can be contacted through your local police station and he or she will be happy to give guidance on your current home security arrangements and put you in touch with local support groups. Alternatively, consult your insurance company or seek advice from GB Locksmiths.


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