All locks fitted in households today fall in to 3 different categories of locks.
Five-lever mortice deadlock conforming to BS 3621
This is the typical lock fitted to most wooden doors to comply with Insurance companies.
Key-operated multi-point locking system
This is a rim-locking system that bolts the door into the frame and offers a higher level of security.
Rim automatic nightlatch with key-locking handle
These offer extra security at night, allowing homeowners to lock their doors more securely from the inside.
Always leave a spare key with a neighbour rather than try to hide it under a flowerpot or a doormat, as these are the first places that thieves will look. For the same reason don’t be tempted to hang a spare key inside the letterbox.
Taking basic precautions such as remembering to close all windows and locking back doors before leaving the house are incredibly important as thieves will take any opportunity left available to them.
Hinge bolts can be a relatively inexpensive solution to strengthening a vulnerable door.
Remember to fit appropriate locks to the top and bottom of patio doors if they don’t already have a multi locking system.
If living in a flat or an apartment never open the main entrance door to strangers or hold it open for people who appear to be entering just as you are leaving.
Gravel is another cheap security measure. The crunching noise it makes can make it very difficult for thieves to sneak around the sides of the house.
Side passageways can be made more secure by inserting a high lockable gate to prevent thieves entering the house through the back garden
Beware of bogus callers who can use guises such as desperately needing to use a phone or a bathroom. This is when viewfinders and door chains can be very helpful as you can see the caller without having to open the door fully.
It’s best to keep your front and back doors locked even when at home.Have the back door locked when answering the front door to a strange caller for they might have an accomplice who’ll try to sneak in whilst you’re being distracted.
Make sure your locks are up to a good standard. Check new and existing locks for British Standard markings. All last closing external doors should be fitted with a mortice lock complying with B.S.3621
If your doors are made from uPVC, they should have at least 5 points of locking up the side of the door, or 2-4 hook bolts with a latch and deadbolt.
Change all locks when moving into a new house or apartment.Do not leave spare keys in obvious places like under flowers pots or welcome mats.
Do not have identifying tags on your key ring that provide thieves with personal information such as your name and address.
Look for specialized keys that require your authorization to make copies and can only be duplicated by a professional locksmith.
Do not leave gaps around doors and frames that would make doors vulnerable to prying.
Make sure back doors and the door that connects your garage to you home are solid and secured with high security deadbolt locks.
DON’T leave ladders lying around.
Keep your shed/outbuilding locked. Burglars will use YOUR tools to gain access to YOUR house.
Don’t leave curtains & blinds drawn during the day – they will attract burglars. Ask a neighbour to remove any post or newspapers left showing in your letterbox.
UPVC lock? these can provide great security, if you deadlock them at all times, otherwise this can be a possible entry point.If your door hinges are facing outwards reset them inwards, so burglars cannot knock the pins out to gain entry.
Sash windows should be fitted with Sash Bolts, or if not used permanently secured from the inside.
French (Double leaf) outward opening doors should be fitted with additional key operated security bolts, at the top and bottom of the last closing door. Ideally, but not essential, both opening doors should be fitted with security bolts.
Letterbox restrictors or letter cages will prevent anyone from reaching through to release locking devices.
Do not leave valuables such as laptops, games consoles, jewelry etc; in sight, through doors and windows.
Alarms are always a good investment, and can be relatively cheep to install. It is not true that by having an alarm, a potential intruder will think you have valuables worth stealing. Even a ‘dummy bell box’ can be enough to make them choose another target.
Always activate your intruder alarm before you go out -many insurance companies will refuse to pay out if you are burgled and you did not activate an alarm