Security News & Tips
Autumn home security message from ESP Security
Take a few simple steps to avoid becoming a victim of a housebreaking this autumn/winter. Now that the darker nights are back and the evenings are drawing in, we want you to remain safe and would like to share the below advice with you.
- If you’re going away or even going out for the evening, set a timer switch to turn your lights on when it gets dark. Unlit houses are a giveaway that no one is at home.
- Remember to lock your doors, patios and downstairs windows. Also lock any windows on the first floor where access can be gained via a flat roof.
- If you’re at the rear of the house or in the garden, lock your front doors and windows. This simple act will deter opportunistic criminals.
- If you have a house alarm... USE IT. Make sure you set it when you go out and when you go to bed.
- Don’t leave car keys, ID cards, or valuables near windows, doors or letterboxes, where thieves can reach through to steal them.
- Lock your garden gates and side entrances. Don’t leave tools lying around in the garden which could be used to break in to your home.
Although having your home broken into is something many people fear. There are however many ways that you can help secure your home from intruders. They don’t all cost money – some are purely down to common sense and good housekeeping.
How strong should my doors and windows be?
You can improve home security by making simple adjustments. Front doors are the primary route of entry and exit into the house, however the back door should be to the same security standard as the front door. Windows are often used as either an entry or exit route for thieves. Properties with windows left open or unsecured are an easy target for the opportunist thief. Windows should not be left open for ventilation on the ‘opening restrictor’, they should be left in the ‘locked ventilation’ position when ventilation is required.
All single glazed windows on both the ground floor and other accessible areas can be vulnerable to attack, as plain glass is easily breakable. Consider replacing ordinary or toughened glass with laminated glass(two pieces of glass bonded together with a sheet of laminate). This is far more difficult to break through as it will not shatter and will therefore delay an attempt at forced entry. Deal with a reputable Glazier and ask for Laminated glass to P1A standard.
Locking systems in double glazed windows should be fitted at the time of manufacture. A general rule to follow is that the handle should not be the only means of keeping the window closed. The locking system should be fitted within the framework and the handle used as a means of engaging the internal locking system.
- Doors should ideally be fitted with a 5 lever mortice deadlock to BS 3621 standard or a Euro Profile Cylinder lock to TS007 3 star standard, and the frame should be strong enough to support the door, hinges and lock. Consider fitting additional mortice bolts at the top and bottom of the door and if practical, hinge-bolts give additional resistance.
- External timber doors should be solid core and a minimum of 45 mm thick, with at least 1 ½ pair hinges, ensure that these are firmly screwed into place. Where UPVC doors are fitted ideally these should be to PAS024:2016 Standard as below.
- New / replacemet doors should be manufactured and installed to meet standards PAS 024:2016 or equivalent and glazed panels within or adjacent to the door should have laminated glass in at least the inner pane to standards P1A.
- Letter boxes should have an internal cover plate and not be at floor level. Mail should be allowed to drop down so that it can’t be retrieved from the outside.
- Consider fitting a door viewer and a door chain.
- Don’t leave keys in the door, as they can be turned or stolen through the letterbox.
- Consider having your door reinforced with a security door bar.
- Consult the manufacturer/supplier before attempting to fit any extra locks to double glazed windows or doors.
- Windows should have internal beading to avoid the glass being removed from the outside. Some systems which have external beading are secure because the glass is adhered to the frame or secured by special tamper-proof clips. This can be checked by consulting the manufacturer.
- New / replacement windows should be manufactured and installed to PAS 024:2016 or equivalent, which indicates set specific standards of design and security for windows.
What if I’m making home improvements or even carrying out routine maintenance?
Your property can be more vulnerable whilst you’re carrying out home improvements.
- Don’t give keys to workers as they can make copies quickly and easily.
- Intruders may try to masquerade as bona fide workers. Let your neighbours know about work being carried out, where workers are likely to be and who they are.
- Scaffolding may allow an intruder access to high level areas they wouldn’t normally be able to access. Remember to lock windows.
- When planning home improvements, take crime prevention into account and use it as an opportunity to enhance your home’s security features.
What should I do when I go on holiday?
Go on holiday safe in the knowledge that you’ve taken some sensible steps to make sure your house doesn’t appear unattended while you’re away.
- Get to know your neighbours – if you’re on good terms with neighbours you trust then they might keep an eye on your home, draw curtains and remove mail from behind the door.
- Make sure you cancel any regular deliveries such as milk or newspapers.
- Use timers on lights and if you have an alarm then make sure it’s set.
- Don’t broadcast on social networking that you’re going on holiday – criminals can search for this kind of information to identify empty houses.
How can I protect myself and my property when I’m moving home?
- If you’re selling your home, don’t show people around on your own. Ask your estate agent to send a representative to accompany anyone who wants to view the house. Opportunist thieves can use opportunities like this to steal your possessions.
- Never allow anyone into your home that has approached you directly from the street having seen your ‘For Sale’ sign. Tell them to go through the agent regardless of how urgently they want to view your property.
- When you move to a new property where other people, such as previous tenants, could still be in possession of keys, change the locks.
Contact ESP Security today for more information or call on 01 8391188