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Increase your home security

Increase Your home security

1: Try to think like a burglar, if you had to how would you break into your home. Identify any weaknesses in your home security and rectify.

2: Keep all doors and windows locked even if you have only popped out for a short time. It only takes a minute for an opportunist thief to try your door and steal valuables.

 

3: Lock garage doors when not in use and try not to leave it open for too long. Garages often provide access to your house and contain valuables.

 

4: When you move home always get the locks changed. You never know how many sets of keys are out there or who has them.

 

5: If you’re going out for the night leave some lights on with energy saving light bulbs and the tv or radio. You are less likely to be targeted if your house looks occupied.

 

6: Don’t leave notes on the door telling delivery men to leave parcels. This is an obvious sign that you are not going to be in for the day.

 

7: Install security lights outside. If a thief can’t stay  out of sight they are less likely to target you.

 

 

8: Install a burglar alarm. This will always make a thief think twice.

 

 

9: If you ever lose a key outside always change the locks, even if they turn up later. You never know if someone found it and had one cut.

 

10:  Do not leave spare keys hidden outside. Even if you think you have a good hiding place.

Christmas Home Security Advice

Christmas Home Security: 10 Tips to Beat the Burglar

The weeks leading up to Christmas are the biggest shopping weeks of the year and for many retailers often accounts for 70% of their annual revenue. Stocking our homes with the latest electronic gadgets, computers, jewellery and must-have accessories is the norm, unfortunately though it provides thieves with the perfect incentive to commit burglaries.

Christmas; A time for giving, receiving… and taking!
Please read our tips on ensuring your home is secure over Christmas and the New Year period.

1. Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar. Highlighting the fact your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise using window decals provides a further warning that your goods are marked, traceable and not worth the risk of stealing!

2. Festive lighting – be secure. A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.

3. Dispose of gift packaging carefully. Refuse collections over the Christmas / New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling point, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to fold boxes so that they do not advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!

4. Protect your Identity. It is good practice never to dispose of receipts and personal paperwork without first shredding it. Christmas is a time when this is especially important! Be careful though not to shred any important warranty details, make sure documents you keep are stored somewhere secure.

5. Check doors and windows for weak spots. Government statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially.

6. Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night, making sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy.

7. Away over Christmas – plan ahead. If you’re going away at Christmas be sure to cancel any newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Do not to leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like “we’re away skiing for the Christmas holidays” etc and again make use of light timers.

8. Secure garages & sheds. Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools. Naturally make sure anything portable / valuable is recorded on immobilise.

9. Don’t hide keys & use alarms if you have them. Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms, many though are rarely set, make sure yours is on and protecting your home.

10. Register your property for FREE on Immobilise at http://www.immobilise.com . This is a national property database that the Police can access and search if we recover suspected stolen property. We regularly search houses of suspected criminals, we check second hand dealers, and visit car boot sales and we have a device that can identify stolen property if the bar code is registered. Don’t let them get away with your gear. Get it logged. Get it back.

Most mobile phones have a unique identifier such as a serial number or an IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) which can found easily by pressing the following keys on your mobile handset: * # 0 6 # . If your gift doesn’t have a unique identifier there are several affordable marking kits available (i.e. Smart Water / untra-violet pens). Contact your local PCSO for further advice.

Hopefully your property will not be targeted by burglars but we do hope some of the advice provided helps to keep your home safe over the seasonal period and into 2012.

 

Advice from Police Community Support Officer Alan Stead

http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk

Robin Homes | Operation Lockdown

 

 

South Yorkshire Police have launched the ‘Keep It Safe’ campaign.

The ‘Keep It Safe’ campaign is South Yorkshire Police’s latest drive to combat burglary and car crime and will feature four fictional characters – PC Andy Beat, Siren the police dog and two criminals, Nick De Mota and Robin Holmes. These characters will be used to encourage householders and vehicle owners to secure their property and keep items out of view from criminals.

A website has recently been launched where you can view where there has been car crime and burglaries in a particular area and what you can do to prevent it.

The website can be viewed at www.operationlockdown.co.uk and will be updated Monday to Friday.

 

Here are just a few tips to help prevent home and vehicle crime:

Keep your home secure

  • Keep all doors and windows locked at all times even when inside.
  • One in three burglaries does not involve forced entry.
  • Do not leave house or car keys in your home, particularly near doors or windows.
  • Keep valuable property out of sight.
  • Lock away ladders, garden tools, and other items that burglars could use to enter your home
  • Have effective house alarms, CCTV systems and good quality locks fitted.
  • If you’re not sure don’t open the door – always check the callers identify card and look up the organisation to check the caller is genuine. Don’t use the number on their card.

Top tips for keeping your vehicle safe

  • Remember to lock doors and close windows before leaving your vehicle.
  • Don’t leave items on show in your car, whether it’s an expensive laptop or just some loose change.
  • Don’t leave valuables in the glove box of your car.
  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit spot that is visible to other members of the public, or covered by CCTV.
  • At home, don’t keep your car keys next to your front door or in an obvious place.
  • If possible keep your vehicle in a garage.
  • If your car doesn’t have an alarm, get one fitted or use a steering lock.
  • Secure your number plates with clutch head screws.
  • In the cold weather don’t leave your car unattended with the engine running, to defrost the windows.
  • Never leave a Sat Nav in a vehicle and wipe away any sucker marks from the glass.

Students’ Open House For Burglars

Students are putting themselves at unnecessary risk of being burgled by not locking doors, after a random police patrol found officers could enter half of student properties without being noticed by the occupants.

On one shift of testing front doors, South Yorkshire police could easily enter 20 student-owned properties.

Inspector Darren Starkey, who leads the Sheffield Central safer neighbourhood teams, told Forge Press many cases of students being burgled were preventable.

He said there was evidence that students were not sufficiently locking their properties.

“Officers have been conducting regular patrols in student areas trying doors to see if they are locked.

“In one shift, 40 doors were tested and over half were unlocked. This allowed police officers to walk into the property undetected.

“The testing of doors will continue while officers work together with students to reduce burglaries.”

“Burglars know that students are often new to the city and away from home for the first time, and therefore not as conscious about security measures.

“This can lead to student and multiple occupancy properties being targeted by burglars.”

It comes after figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request showed traditional student-populated areas have some of the highest burglary rates in Sheffield.

A total of 4,861 offences of burglary have been reported in Sheffield so far this year with student areas among the worst affected.

Crookes was one of only three wards in Sheffield to have recorded an increase in burglaries year-on-year even though this year’s figures only apply for the first nine months of 2012.

Last year the ward recorded a total of 189 burglaries; however, so far in 2012, 192 burglaries have been reported to police.

The figures include the number of burglaries and attempted burglaries recorded by police in Sheffield from January 1 to September 30 2012.

Broomhill, which has one of the highest proportions of student-to-let properties in the city and includes Endcliffe student village, has so far had 231 incidents of property being burgled from.

Olivia Adams, a third year student at the University of Sheffield, lived in Broomhill last year but had her house burgled in broad daylight while housemates were upstairs.

She told Forge Press that her friends returned home from watching rugby at Varsity and found her television missing.

“I found the whole experience very stressful and never expected it to happen to me.

“My television was the only thing of value in the communal rooms. Everything else we kept locked away in our rooms.

“We couldn’t claim insurance on it because one of my housemates had left the back door propped open.

“Three of my housemates were in and heard noises but thought it was each other.

“I think it was an opportunistic burglar, who saw his chance and grabbed it.”

According to the figures, there is a daily average of 17 reported cases of burglary in Sheffield.

Every week Broomhill has on average six offences of property, cars or businesses being burgled, while Crookes has almost five.

South Yorkshire police said there was evidence that students were being specifically targeted because of their poor security.

Starkey said: “South Yorkshire police is aware of the increased number of burglaries in areas of Sheffield predominantly populated by students.

“Student properties present two main opportunities for burglars. There are often multiple laptops and other electrical equipment in one shared property, and unsecure doors and windows make a burglar’s job very easy.”

He added: “It is important to highlight that these incidents are not isolated to a particular time, when students are not at home for example. They are occurring throughout the day and night.

“To tackle this issue, police officers will be increasing their focus on areas that contain high numbers of multiple occupancy properties.”

Students’ Union welfare officer Jon Gleek said he wasn’t surprised that police had seen a rise in student-related burglaries.

“Student houses are seen as good targets for burglars because the houses often have multiple items which are easily grabable and easy to sell on.

“It is also really important to get appropriate insurance for your property and check the small print of the terms and conditions to see if things like window locks are required in the policy.”

PC Bob Kenney, universities liaison officer for South Yorkshire police, advised students to keep their valuable property out of sight.

Written By

 Jonathan Robinson

http://forgetoday.com/news/half-of-students-leave-door-open-for-burglary/

Is Your uPVC door Secure?

Is My uPVC Door Really That Secure?

When at a customer’s house I often hear that when they had uPVC doors fitted they were told that they were the most secure type of security but that they have recently heard that they may be more vulnerable than first told.

Multi point locks on uPVC doors do offer great security, however what is often over looked is the cylinder in the door. This is a mistake you do not want to make. In order to utilise your multi point locks full security potential you must ensure that you have a high security cylinder in it.

High security locks will have the following features :

Anti snap

Anti bump

Anti pick

Anti drill

To help identify if a lock has one or more of these features there are various logos or standards to look out for, either on the locks or on the packaging.

British Standard kitemark KiteMark

Kitemarked locks will usually have at least one high security feature and many insurance companies now require all cylinders on final exit doors to bear this mark.

Secured By Design     secure_by_design

Secured by design is owned by the association of chief police officers and focuses on crime prevention of homes and commercial premises. Their logo and approval can be given to domestic locks meeting  British Standard 3621:1998.

TS 007***

This is a security standard developed by Door and Hardware Federation and Glass and Glazing Federation. This standard is achieved by gaining a 3* rating system.

There are cylinders available that immediately give you a maximum security 3* rating. However, this maximum security rating can also be achieved by combining locks and door hardware. This is done by combining a 1* cylinder lock with a 2* security handle.

Locks and hardware that are able to comply with the TS 007 standard should be marked with the relevant amount of stars.

Achieving a 3* rating will mean that your door can withstand attack from snapping, drilling, bumping and picking.

PAS 23/24

PAS 23/24, or Publicly Available Security, must achieve a kitemarked standard and also be snap resistant to mole grips and screws. PAS 23/24 door handles are also available and will usually carry a 2* rating, protecting from drilling and lock snapping.

The average time a burglar will spend trying to break into your home is 3 minutes and a PAS 23/24 cylinder lock must be able to withstand attack for at least this amount of time.

Burglary Prevention

Homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures. Good window locks strong deadlocks and high security cylinder locks can make a big difference.

Many burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves, the most recent burglary I attended was possible because although the window was closed the handle had not been pulled down and the keys for the house and car were in reach of the insecure window.

An open window or unlocked door is the only invitation a thief needs and in a couple of minutes they can be walking off with your valuable possessions, even the keys to your car. Burglars will always pick the easiest target with the best chance of getting away undetected. There is however simple measures you can take to greatly reduce being the next victim of crime.

One thing that I always tell my customers is that a lock is only as good as the door it is fitted to. External wooden doors should be at least 1 inch thick and solid, try to avoid having a panelled door or one with single glazed glass. Soft and rotten door frames need to be replaced and all locking devices should be attached with screws of a suitable length. Also ensure that locks are to British Standard and Secured by Design, 5 lever mortise on wooden doors and anti-snap 3 star cylinders on uPVC doors, this will ensure that your locks are able to withstand common attack methods and not be compromised by the elements, this is also a requirement of insurance companies.

One of the most vulnerable points of access is patio doors as they can easily be removed from their tracks. Additional security bolts can be fitted at minimal cost. An even more cost effective security measure is to place something like a cut down broom handle on the sliding tracks, reaching from the edge of the frame to the back end of the door, this will prevent the door from been forced open from the outside.

Apart from having adequate locking points careful consideration should be given to the outside of your property. Avoid having over grown hedges or other plants around windows and doors as these provide perfect hiding places for thieves. Also ensure that sheds and other out buildings are locked and any tools and ladders aren’t on show. Security lighting also proves an excellent deterrent.

 

Taking just a few steps can make a big difference in keeping your home safe from burglary.

Here are a few tips:

  • Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)
  • Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
  • Install a visual burglar alarm (as part of a suite of prevention measures – a burglar alarm on its own will not prevent entry to your home)
  • Install good outside lighting
  • Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
  • Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
  • Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immoveable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep ladders and tools stored away; don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home
  • Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
  • Ensure rear fencing is in good repair
    Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges
  • Mark your property with postcode and house number and register your property for free with Immobilise (opens in a new window)
  • Consider joining or forming a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
  • Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows

Going Away

With the summer months approaching and warmer weather on its way it is important to remember home security as we venture away from home for longer periods of time. With the excitement of holidays and weekends away this is easily over looked.

Statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through open windows and when the temperature rises a refreshing breeze through the house is an easy way to keep cool. However a thief only needs a brief window of opportunity to burglarize  you, so even if you are just popping to the shops close and lock your windows.

It is also important to keep all out buildings secure after been out in the garden. Apart from sheds holding valuable equipment they also provide tools for breaking into your home. So, always remember to lock up when left unattended.

Where possible it is also advisable to get a neighbour to pop round and collect any post, a mountain of unopened post is a sure sign that you are away.

Key Fishing

Key fishing burglaries on the rise. Over the last couple of months I have noticed an increase in key fishing through letterboxes. Thieves are retrieving keys from inside locks or nearby work surfaces or tables using fishing rods, sticks or canes. Once the keys are obtained a thief can silently break in and take any valuables, including cars. It is advisable to never leave your house keys in the door lock or anywhere they can be seen through a letterbox or window ( this includes car keys).

A sure fire way to prevent would be burglars from attempting key fishing is to install a letterbox guard to the interior side of your letterbox. they are affordable and an easy DIY job. They simply attach to the existing screw holes and prevent the inside flap from opening wide enough to put hands or ‘fishing tools’ through.

Latest Offer

You do your best to protect your home and your family. Now there’s something better, the new UAP+ Zero Lift Cylinder Lock.

And now for a limited time only upgrade your cylinder locks  to UAP+ Zero Lift, anti snap locks, for the amazing price of £40.00 each including free measuring and fitting.

To take advantage of this unbeatable offer or for more information or to book an appointment,

call us on: 07577138335 or 0114 4180227

Rise In Lock Snapping In Yorkshire

A quarter of all burglaries in Yorkshire are being committed by criminals using a technique called “lock snapping”.

Since 2009, there has been a rise in the technique, which involves applying force and snapping the cylinder in two.

The technique first emerged in Bradford a couple of years ago and now accounted for more than a quarter of all burglaries across the force area.

Figures for December show that 27% of all burglaries across the county involved lock snapping on euro cylinders.

Euro cylinder locks are fitted to millions of properties, usually UPVC and other double glazed doors.

These locks are vulnerable to this type of attack and it can take between 50 seconds and two minutes to force the lock.

If you’re unsure about the standard and quality of your locks, please contact us at Precision Locksmiths for friendly, honest and free advice.

UAP+ Zero Lift Cylinders

For some time now the official Police approved scheme ‘Secured by Design’ and British Standards institute have been working to improve door security- specifically against ‘lock snapping’. New standards have recently been introduced to overcome this problem by using anti snap cylinders like UAP+ Zero Lift.

The quickest and most cost effective solution to this problem is to upgrade basic euro cylinder locks to security enhanced Anti – snap Cylinder locks – these have anti snap cuts on both sides of the cylinder. If unreasonable force is applied to one end of an Anti – Snap Cylinder it only breaks away to the snap line, but leaves the locking mechanism still inside the door. Anyone familiar with lock snapping can recognize an anti snap lock and of course this is a big deterrent to any would be burglars before they even attempt to break in.

For more information on UAP+ Zero Lift Cylinders or to upgrade yours locks to UAP+ Zero Lift Cylinders please contact us at Precision Locksmiths.

Insurance

Listed below are the minimal security requirements of most insurers but it is always advisable to contact your insurer to confirm theirs.

Security Requirements:
Loss by theft or attempted theft from the home is not covered unless the following security measures are in operation when the property is left unattended. All external doors and windows must be closed and locked and keys must not be visible from outside. [ I’ve added the underlining ]
The final exit door….
i is fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers; or
ii is fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621: 1998 or to a higher specification
In addition, where the final exit door is double-leaf, the first closing leaf must be fitted with top and bottom key-operated security bolts. Bolts must be positioned vertically so as to enter the framework of the door, not the opposing leaf.
Double-glazed PVC-U, Metal or timber doors
Key-operated multiple-point locking devices on double glazed PVC-U, metal or timber doors with an insurance approved cylinder lock are an acceptable alternative for the security measures detailed for doors above.
All other single external doors….
i are fitted with key-operated security bolts at the top and bottom; or
ii are fitted with a mortice deadlock with at least 5 levers; or
iii are fitted with a lock conforming to BS3621: 1998 or to a higher specification
Sliding patio doors….
i fitted with two key-operated patio door locks on the inside of the doors at the top and bottom of the frame; or
ii are fitted with a key-operated multiple locking system having at least two locking points
Windows
All opening ground floor and basement windows, and all windows which are accessible from roofs, walls, fences, balconies, landings, porches, soil pipes, drainpipes, trees or shrubs must be fitted with at least one key-operated metal lock
Alternatively, these windows are permanently fixed shut by means of non-return or defaced head screws angled through the window frame into the timber or metal surround.