Most burglars are opportunists - 20% of the time they don't have to use force
1/3 of all burglaries gain entry through a back window
If a burglar can get their head through a window they can get in!
Only 9% of stolen property is returned
Burglars don't like to break windows.
Burglars will use unsecured tools from your garage or shed to break in
Deadlocking & removing keys stops a burglar carrying your possessions out through a door
Most insurers have minimum security requirements & offer a discount for well secured homes
The Home Office advises new home owners to consider replacing keys
Protect your Home
If your front and back door are not secure, your house is not secure.
The doors themselves should be of strong construction; glass panels are vulnerable (don't leave keys & valuables in sight) - consider replacing with laminated glass.
Fit front and back doors with BS3621 or equivalent deadlocks (many insurance companies will insist on this). Use them and remove the key so a thief can not open a door from the inside.
Fit all exterior doors, top and bottom, with bolts; fit French doors with mortice bolts top and bottom.
Ensure uPVC doors are fitted with good quality locks and have a chain fitted from new as they are difficult to add later.Also consider fitting hinge bolts, a door viewer and a letterbox cage (never hang keys inside the letterbox).
Remember, whatever you do it must be possible to get out quickly in an emergency.
Secure windows force a thief to break the glass and risk attracting attention.
Secure the most vulnerable windows first: ground floor windows (this is often a minimum insurance company requirement), windows which are out of sight of street and windows which can be reached from a flat roof or drainpipe etc.
Even small windows such as bathroom windows and skylights are at risk a thief can get through any gap larger than a human head.
Louvre windows are particularly vulnerable. Consider gluing the slats in place with epoxy resin or better still, replace with fixed glass.
These should have additional special locks top and bottom, unless already fitted with a multipoint locking system. Also consider fitting an anti-lifting device so a thief cannot lift the door off its rails.
Visible alarms make burglars think twice. Your insurance company will usually require a system that conforms to either BS4737 or BS6707 (for DIY systems).
Gates and Fences
A high wall or fence can put off a burglar and a thorny hedge can also be a useful deterrent. Consider fitting a gate to any side passages. Try to stop a thief getting to the back of the house where they can work with less chance of being seen.
Garages and Sheds
Always make sure sheds and garages are secure; use a strong padlock if necessary. A thief will often use your own tools to help them break in. If there is an adjoining door to the house then a thief could work on the inner door in privacy. Ensure ladders are locked away or chained / padlocked to a sturdy bracket to stop a thief using them.