I was struck by the headline below that appeared in my local newspaper this weekend.
‘Police step up fight against burglaries after three-fold rise’
Apparently in the last month the number of burglaries has risen threefold and dog handlers, mounted officers, high visibility and undercover patrols are being brought in to combat the tide of robberies.
The burglars have struck mainly during the day on weekdays. The main targets are valuable portable electrical items, especially flat-screen televisions and laptops, but jewelery and car keys have also been stolen.The Police are urging householders to do their own home security review and increase their vigilance.
The following advice is a useful checklist on how to prevent becoming a burglary victim.
Move valuables out of sight or put up blinds, window film or net curtains to ensure that items such as flat-screen TVs, laptops and handbags cannot be seen through ground-floor windows. Keep curtains closed at night. Leave a lamp on a timer when you go out to ensure that your house appears to be occupied after dark. Alternatively purchase a low cost deterrent device like a ‘Fake TV’ to make your house appear occupied at all times.
Ensure all ground-floor doors and windows are securely locked. If you have no window locks or are not sure whether your locks are adequate, pick up the free Home Office publication A Guide To Home Security.
If you have an alarm, set it whenever you go out and at night. If not, consider investing in one. A wireless alarm starts at around £120 and is quick and easy to fit.
Most homes should have a safe to protect valuables, cash and vital documents. These should always be bolted down. Ensure garages, sheds and outbuildings are also securely locked and protected by an alarm. Keep all valuable items like bikes and garden machinery under lock and key.
Install a motion detector security light to illuminate the outside of your house when anyone approaches.
We urge people to mark their valuables with their postcode and house number using an ultra-violet pen and to display a security sticker. Preventing burglary is relatively easy by applying common sense and a little investment is deterrents. As the recession deepens there has never been a more important time to review and update your home security.