Ten ways to beat the burglars

… as recommended by the local police

1. When you go out, always close and lock the external doors and windows – even if you are just going out for a short time.

2. Try to get into the habit of double-checking window and door locks when you are going to bed too. Have you turned the key on doors that may have been unlocked during the day?

3. Be careful with keys. Make sure you all know how to get out in case of fire, but be careful not leave keys, including spares, near the door or where they could be reached from outside. And try not to leave them in a garage or under a flowerpot!

4. Installing new doors or windows? Make sure that they are certified to the appropriate British Standard (BS). The standard for windows is BS7950 and the standard for doors is PAS 24

5. Put burglars off, Burglar alarms that are visible, good home lighting and security in the right place can put burglars off. Make sure that lights don’t disturb your neighbours and that burglar alarms turn off after 20 minutes.

6. Use timers for lights and radios if you need to be away from home overnight or when you are on holiday. They will create the impression that someone is in.

7. Visible burglar alarms, good lighting and carefully directed security lighting can put burglars off. But make sure that the lights don’t disturb your neighbours and that alarms turn off after 20 minutes.

8. Fences at the back of the house may make this area more secure but walls and solid fencing may let a thief break in without being seen. A good compromise is chain-link fencing or trellis with prickly shrubs.

9. Fitting a ‘spy hole’ allows you to see who is at the door. A door chain lets you open the door a little way to talk to the caller.

10. Never leave garages or sheds unlocked, especially if they connect to your property.

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