Home Security On A Shoe String

When it comes to protecting your home I bet you think about all the expensive technology available today in the form of intruder alarm systems which will automatically contact the police, high intensity security lights and fully working high quality CCTV camera systems. All this security will add up to hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

But what if you don’t have much money to spend on home security? There are many other ways to protect your home which won’t cost a fortune.

No Installation Charge

Burglar Alarm Siren BoxAlarm systems are your best deterrent against crime and they don’t need to be costly. Our fully wireless systems start at around £100 and can be fitted easily by anybody in a couple of hours. By fitting an alarm system yourself you can save the added expense of paying an engineer to carry out the work.

Solar Power

Solar powered security such as security lights are very simple to fit and have their own source of power. These type of lights come complete with their very own solar panel which eliminates the need for you pay an electrician to wire them into a mains power supply. Once they are fitted they cost absolutely nothing to run.

Decoy Security

Fitting a decoy burglar alarm siren box or dummy CCTV surveillance camera to the outside of your home will be just as effective at making a potential intruder think twice about targeting your home as the real thing but will cost a fraction of the price!

FREE home security tips

Inside the Home

Open door

- Lock all windows and doors before going to bed, spend time in your garden or when you leave the house. Opportunist thieves will often enter a house through an unsecured entrance.

- If you have an alarm system, remember to ‘arm’ it every time you go out.

- Hide your house and car keys in a safe place. If an intruder does gain access to your home they will look for your car keys and may steal your car.

- Keep your valuables out of sight from outside your home. It’s very easy for thieves to look through your windows.

- Add passwords to all your computers, smart phones and tablets etc. If the worst does happen and they are stolen they then cannot be used by anyone else.

- Only keep minimal amounts of cash at home.

- Join a neighbourhood watch scheme. A strong community can be a secure community.

Outside the Home

- Lock all garden tools including ladders securely away in your shed or garage.

-  Keep your garden tidy as this will reduce the chance of somebody hiding there.

- Never leave a spare key under a mat or plant pot. This is the first place an intruder will look.

- Always put packaging of new and expensive goods in the bin not next to it as this advertises to thieves what goods you have.

Holidays

- If you go on holiday ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home whilst you are away.

- Never post on social network sites such as Facebook that you are going on holiday as it could easily be read by someone who will target your home.

- Cancel any newspapers which you would normally have delivered before you go away.

 

Should you open your windows during the hot summer weather?

Open House Window

Last week I heard Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 talking about people leaving their windows open at night during the recent hot weather and their fears of being burgled because of doing so.

Burglary Increase

The hot weather has sparked fears of burglars gaining entry into homes at night and stealing possessions. In Sussex alone there has been a 40% increase in burglaries during this hot spell.  This increase is due to a lot of “insecurity” of downstairs windows and doors.

Panic Attacks

One listener recently had their ground floor window “prised open” at around 4.30am. The next morning her husband noticed their keys were missing and looked out of the window to find the car was gone. She now has “panic attacks” and neither of them are “sleeping properly knowing somebody has been into the house”.

Metropolitan Police

Jeremy Vine also spoke with former Metropolitan Police Office, Peter Bleksley who said that being burgled “at any time whether you are in the house or not is a Traumatic Experience”.

He also stated that “crime prevention measures will make you less likely to be a victim of burglary”.

Home Security Checks

At bed time it’s a good idea to make a last check around your home. Check that all the windows and doors are closed and locked and the house alarm is armed to protect ground floor zones.

Opportunist Burglars

Remember, “a large percentage of burglars are opportunists. They will walk along the street looking for open windows and doors.”

Keep your windows and doors closed and locked when you are out and at night as this will greatly reduce the chance of being burgled.

Added Window Security

For added window security you can easily fit some additional window locks to your home. These can be bought from your local hardware store for just a few pounds and can be fitted quickly.

Wheelie Bins

Wheele bin

Wheelie bins may not one of the first things that spring to mind when you are thinking about home security, but they can aid in a burglar attempts to break into your home.

They can be used as a climbing aid enabling an intruder to gain access to windows or flat roofs of your home. Wheelie bins can also double up as a trolley for all your stolen possessions to be transported away easily by a thief. Where possible, try to keep your bin out of sight or locked away to stop this from happening.

Also, don’t leave packaging from expensive goods by the side of the bin. Always put the packaging in the bin so not to advertise that you have a brand new flat screen TV or computer etc.

Lastly, it is essential that all correspondence with your name, address or personal details on is shredded before being binned to stop identity fraud. Cross shredders are the best type of shredder for this.

Can technology predict future burglaries?

The West Midlands police force are currently trialling a new system which has been designed to predict both where and when burglaries will occur.

It may sound like science fiction, but operation Swordfish has been launched in the West Midlands with the hope that it will reduce the number of new and repeat burglaries in and around the Birmingham area.

Last year approximately 8000 homes were burgled in Birmingham and police believe that 30% of these were repeat attacks. The West Midlands police force has entered these burglaries into a computer to analyse the results of when and where a property was targeted. The algorithms produced by this data has shows us that homes which have been burgled have a very high risk of being targeted again in a short space of time, along with their neighbours houses. This computer software “forecasts” burglaries and can plot a map of future hot-spots days in advance.

During this trial police officers will visit properties which have been targeted by thieves to offer advice and additional security equipment to the victims and their neighbours. This is being done to make local people more aware of a potential threat which should help to reduce the chances of a repeat attack on the initial property or neighbouring homes.

The BBC has reported

“In the first few days of the pilot, nearly all of the break-ins had occurred through open windows.”

This shows that it pays to be vigilant at all times and to keep doors and windows shut and locked when you are out or asleep.

It is hoped that this experiment will help to deploy officers in future hot-spots in an aim to reduce the number of offences taking place. If it works it could be a real breakthrough, not only by reducing the number of burglaries, but also by efficiently placing a much limited police force due to cut backs in the correct places at the right time.

To test this new system fully half of the city will see the police use this new method and the other will see the police use the traditional method. The results produced will help to assess if operation Swordfish has been a success.

Watch the BBC report.

Burglar needs help escaping shop.

 
A bungling burglar has been caught on CCTV trying to hold up a newsagent shop attendant on Oxfordshire.

Wearing a balaclava, the burglar used a toy gun to get the attendant to hand over £130. However, he then takes off his balaclava in full view of the CCTV cameras and makes his way to the door. Pushing the one way door instead of pulling it, he gets annoyed and starts kicking it, causing him to lose his balance and knock over a display and goods all across the store.

He eventually makes his way out of the shop and was later arrested on the same street as the newsagents is located on.

Unbelievably this was the second time he had targeted this shop. He has now been sentenced to a 3 years behind bars.

Watch more bungling burglar videos here.

Tortured in her own home.

A man has been arrested following an assault on a 73 year old woman in her own home.

The man is accused of breaking into the lady’s home along with another masked intruder who tied the lady to a radiator and scaled her with boiling water. The pair of intruders are thought to have got away with £150,000 of jewellery and personal belongings.

Read more of this shocking story.

Olympic Games Home Security

As you’ll be aware, unless you have been living on mars, the 2012 Olympic Games are just around the corner and you may very well be a spectator. If you are, brilliant! However for those of you who have to travel to the games please remember the following home security tips even if your home will be empty for just one night.

Lock all windows and doors – It is easy to forget to lock all the windows in the rush to get your bag packed and the car loaded so make sure you double check that all windows and doors are closed and locked.

Put keys away – This sounds like common sense but hide all the spare keys that you will leave behind in a safe place and out of sight. Don’t leave them hung up on the wall or in a bowl next to the front door. Hide them in your sock draw, in your husband’s slippers, under the sofa etc.

Set timers for the lights/radio – Timers are a great way to make it look and sound like someone is at home. Simply plug them between the plug of a side/desk light or radio and a power socket then set the times for when you want them to come on and go off during the evening or night.

Tip: To make it look more realistic, add them to two or three rooms of your home and set them to come on at different times.

Have a neighbour or relative check on your home – Ask a friendly neighbour or relative to check on your property if you are staying away for more than one night. If your front door has a glass pane ask if they wouldn’t mind picking up your post so it doesn’t notify passersby of your absence. They may also open and close your curtains to give the impression that someone is at home.

Lastly….Set your burglar alarm – Don’t forget to set your burglar alarm and lock your front door when you leave your home. This way, if you do have the misfortune of being broken into the alarm will sound alerting passersby or neighbours and should cause the intruder to flee before they have time to steal anything.

We hope your won’t be a target for burglars and have a fantastic British Olympic Games!

Home Security – Prevention V Cure

The saying goes that prevention is better than a cure. This is true in most cases. Take for instance a classic car, it is much easier to prevent the onset of rust by keeping it clean, and polishing it regularly than it is to cut out a panel, weld a new rust free one in place and get it painted. Not to mention that it’s cheaper to clean and polish a car once a week than it is to have a replacement panel fitted.

It’s the same when it comes to home security. Preventing an intruder from entering your property is often easier and more cost effective than having to replace broken windows, doors and stolen items. It is also much easier to add security to your home than it is to have expensive and sentimental items such as photos or jewellery returned to you.

In addition it is less stressful for you to attempt to deter potential intruders by installing a burglar alarm or security light than having to call the police, your insurance company and a glazing company or locksmith to re-secure your home where the intruder broke the window or door. Then there is the worrying thought that it could happen again or even make you feel safe in your own home.

And after a break in or attempted break in you are likely to get your home secured by a burglar alarm or security light to feel safe in the knowledge that your home is protected against burglars when it is unoccupied giving you peace of mind.

It is much easier and cost effective to secure your home against the threat of intrusion from the start so don’t put it off. Protect your home against intruders today!

Police Cuts

Teams such as the surveillance, child protection and burglary squads are being broke up to place police officers in other areas of the front line due to the cuts faced by the police force.

Police officers are being moved from these squads to fill gaps in the front line so people like you and me still see the same amount of Police officers on our streets, accompanied by more PCSO’s (Police Crime Support Officers) on a day to day basis. However, the teams we do not see from day to day are the ones which target specific crimes and these are being reduced in size or broke up completely.

I believe this is undoubtedly going to lead to far less arrests, meaning more crimes will go unpunished.

Is there anything we can do about these cuts? I doubt it. I think the decision has already been made and the only way a back track will be made is if crime figures are shown to go up in the next few years.

I think all we can do is to keep a closer eye on what is going on in our neighbourhood and if something suspicious occurs to report it to the police by phoning 101 or if it is an emergency 999. Joining a neighbourhood watch scheme is another good idea for many neighbourhoods who are not already members as this will help to reduce the threat of crime.

Home security – Our Top 10 Tips

Follow these simple tips and you will have a much more secure property and one that should deter all but the most determined intruders!

- Lock doors and windows – Keeping your doors and windows locked will limit the chances of an opportunistic thief from entering your home. It also means that anyone who is trying to break in to your home will make noise by breaking glass or locks which will attract attention from passersby.

- Make you home look lived in when you are on holiday – Ask a neighbour to pick up your post instead of leaving it to pile up behind front doors with glass panels. Also ask them if they wouldn’t mind cutting your front lawn if you are away for long periods of time. 

- Fit a burglar alarm – The sight of a visible burglar alarm is usually enough to deter most intruders, but if someone does break in to your home an alarm will sound a loud siren attracting the attention of passersby. Some alarm systems will even contact the police as soon as the alarm is triggered.

- Secure your ladders – Don’t leave ladders loose in your garden. Put yours away in a locked shed or if you have to leave one outside, lock it to a wall to stop it being used to gain access to either yours or neighbours upper floors.

- Fit security lighting – Intruders will try to break in to properties under the cover of darkness to reduce the chance of being seen. However, security lights will illuminate both the intruder and your grounds automatically when the intruder is detected.

- Never leave a spare key under a plant pot – This is the first place an intruder will look. Ask a neighbour or relative to keep a spare key for you.

- Lock power tools away – Power tools can be very expensive. Securely lock power tools in cupboards and chain your lawn mower to a solid, immovable object such as a wall or concrete floor of you shed or garage. Painting your postcode in a visible place on the tools will prove to be a great deterrent.

- Keep you bicycles locked – Keep your bicycles in a locked shed or garage. Locking bicycles together or better still, to a wall will reduce the chance of them being stolen.

- Mark your possessions with your postcode – Write you postcode and house number on items such as TV’s and DVD players with special UV pens which are invisible to the naked eye, but can help to return your property if recovered by the police by using a blacklight lamp.

- Think like a burglar – Put yourself in a burglars shoes and walk around the outside of your home. Are expensive electrical items visible to you from the pavement? Are there any open / part open windows especially on the ground floor? Are the doors locked? Do the doors and windows look secure? Are there any security devices such as a burglar alarm, cctv cameras, security lights etc? Is there a guard dog? Are there any security warning signs? Are the gates to your back garden laocked? Are there large bushes where you can hide? Doing this will help you to keep your property secure.