There has been a recent spate of dwelling burglaries in the Huntingdonshire area, Huntingdonshire Community Safety Partnership recommends the following advice to help reduce the risk you becoming a victim of burglary.
Windows – around a third of burglars get in through a back window. Thieves are deterred by window locks, as breaking glass is noisy and draws attention to them. DIY stores sell inexpensive key-operated locks to fit all types of window. If possible put locks on all windows, but prioritise those on the ground floor and ones that can be got to easily – for instance by a flat roof. Bear in mind that you may need to plan an escape route in the event of a fire.
Don’t underestimate a burglar , if they can get their head through the window, the rest can follow. When replacing windows, make sure they are certified to British Standard 7950 and preferably carry the ‘Secured by Design’ logo. Avoid toughened glass as this breaks with little or no noise – making it easier for burglars to operate undetected.
There is a risk of intruders gaining entry through older externally beaded double glazed units. You can reduce the risk of this happening by fitting double glazing tape to your units, this prevents intruders from removing the glass without breaking it.
Doors – if your front and back doors are not secure, then neither is your home. Doors and frames must be strong and in good condition, glass panels on or around the door are very vulnerable – replace them with laminated glass at least 6.4 mm thick. Fit external doors with a five-lever mortise deadlock that carries the British Standard kite mark, BS3621 and use it. French doors should have mortise bolts near the top and a third from the bottom.
When buying new doors or windows, make sure they are kite marked for security- look for the Secured by Design logo, which will have extra features over and above the British Standard.
Lighting – using lights inside and out can help to deter thieves. Movement-sensitive external lights are a good idea especially for the rear of the house.
Indoors, consider getting a time switch that will turn on lights and/or radios while you are out.
Burglar alarms – consider getting a burglar alarm. Although these can be more expensive, they are very effective. There are many alarms available in a range of prices but make sure they come from a reputable source.
Get specialist advice and a number of quotes – or ask your insurers for companies that they recommend. It is best to have an alarm professionally installed, unless you have the electrical knowledge and skills to do so.
Gates and fences – maintain gates and fences – this will act as a deterrent. If you have a private alleyway down the side of your house, talk to your neighbour about fitting a high, strong lockable gate. If you can see through it this is better as burglars don’t like to be seen. A border filled with thorny shrubs is a great burglar deterrent.
If you have fencing or a hedge around the front of your home, make sure that the front of the house can still be seen by neighbours, don’t let the burglars work unseen.
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. Fit strong padlocks and hardware to shed and garage door also fit locks or bars to windows. Lock ladders inside your garage or shed and consider lockable steel boxes or anchor posts fitted to the floor to secure tools and equipment. Gardens tools and machinery should be permanently marked with your postcode so they can be identified and returned if they are recovered.