The days when you could leave your front door unlocked without fear of anything going missing are sadly gone.
Fortunately, most people are honest; however, it’s best not to take any chances with home security, especially if you live alone and are older or disabled.
Take simple steps to keep you and your property safe at all times:
- lock your property when you leave it - even if you’re only popping next door
- close all the windows when you go out
- don’t leave keys hanging within easy reach of a door or window
- if you’re away overnight, use timers on lights and ask neighbours to pop in occasionally. Leave a car on the drive if possible
- never advertise the fact that you’ve bought expensive items, e.g. a laptop or television, by leaving packaging outside
- add a ‘spy hole’ to your front door so you can see who’s outside before you open it
- consider extra security measures like window locks or a burglar alarm.
Crime Prevention publishes lots of helpful advice on how to keep your home secure, including a suggested bedtime routine and useful holiday checklist.
Keysafe is a secure metal box outside your property where you can keep a spare key. The box can only be opened by someone who knows the secret code. Keysafe means that in an emergency, the paramedics or other emergency personnel can be provided with the secret code and gain access without causing damage to the property.
Distraction burglary is a particularly nasty kind of crime because it often involves someone asking for help and taking advantage of your good nature.
The idea is to trick you into letting them into your home, perhaps by asking you for a glass of water or to use your phone; when your back is turned they will search for money and valuables.
Some criminals might pretend to be officials, e.g. from the water board, and others send a child to your door asking for help, then follow them into your home unnoticed.
Use the Three Step Plan to stay safe.
Step 1: if in doubt, keep them out (it’s your home).
Step 2: plan what to say in advance and keep a list of contacts close to hand so you can check the credentials of unexpected callers.
Step 3: if you are suspicious, call a neighbour or the police on 101 (if you have just been burgled call 999).