NFDC Logo - Click to return to home page
Change colour  Change to normal colours * Change to black on yellow * Change to yellow on blue    Font Size  Change to normal font size * Change to large font * Change to largest font  * Browsealoud | Help | Facebook | Twitter

Welcome to Housing

Housing

Home Online Services Advice for private sector landlords and tenants Council Garages Domestic Abuse Homesearch (Housing waiting list) Homesearch (Join the waiting list) Homeswap (Mutual Exchange) Housing Advice Housing Development Lifelines: The community alarm service Private Sector Leasing Scheme Rent and Arrears Recovery Repairs and Maintenance Resident Involvement Right to Buy Tenancy Management

A-Z of site

A

*

B

*

C

*

D

*

E

*

F

*

G

*

H

*

I

*


J

*

K

*

L

*

M

*

N

*

O

*

P

*

Q

*

R

*


S

*

T

*

U

*

V

*

W

*

X Y

*

Z

*

You are here:  Home | Housing | Advice for private sector landlords and tenants | Home Security Advice
Home Security Advice
 
 
Web contact form:  Housing HelpdeskEmail:  Housing Helpdesk          Tel:  023 8028 5222


Unfortunately crime is a fact of life but there are a number of precautions you can take to help reduce the chances you have of being burgled.  You do not even have to spend a lot of money.  Just by being aware of how burglars choose houses to steal from and by making a few changes to your daily routine, can be as effective as alarms and extra locks.

Join a local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, you can find out if there is one in your street by contacting the local police.  If there is no scheme in your street, you could work together with your neighbours and the police and set up your own local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

The police also have locally based crime prevention officers who will give advice on home security.  Contact your local police station for more information.

The New Forest Home Improvement Agency also offer help and advice on home security and will supply and fit extra security measures for homeowners who are vulnerable and on a low income for example, those over 60 or people with disabilities.


INSURANCE

Check that you have enough household contents insurance cover for your possessions.  Many insurance policies insist on you taking particular precautions for example, fitting 5-lever mortise deadlocks to outside doors.  Check your policy to see if you meet the conditions.  If you don't make sure you carry out the work needed as soon as possible, otherwise your policy will be invalid.

Some insurance companies offer lower premiums if you take certain security measures for example, fitting an alarm.  Others offer reductions to senior citizens who are often at home for most of the day.

Remember if you take in a lodger you must let your insurance company know.

SECURITY MEASURES

Remember that a lock is only as strong as the door or doorframe.   There is no point fitting an expensive lock to a door that is easily forced.  Make sure all locks you fit have the British Standard kite mark.

  • Rim locks - this type of lock fits to the inside face of the door, Yale locks are rim locks.
  • Mortise locks - these are usually key-operated and fit into a slot and cut into the side of the door.  They are more expensive than rim locks but are more secure.
  • Window locks - these can be either key-operated or automatic and are a good deterrent.  The automatic ones lock when you close the window and are the best as you are more likely to use them.
  • Alarms - these provide a good deterrent and can be wired to a call centre or can just ring at the property. It is best to fit one that is wired to a call centre who will call the police on your behalf. Alarms are quite expensive and will need to be professionally fitted.  You will need to remember the codes for them.  When you choose a code, do not use an obvious combination (for example, 1066 or 1812) as burglars will try obvious dates.  Do not use dummy alarm boxes.
  • CCTV - closed-circuit television is another good deterrent, but again is expensive and needs to be professionally fitted unless you are very good at DIY.  Never use dummy CCTV cameras', as burglars know what they look like.
  • Security grilles - these are often made of wrought iron and fit over windows and doors.  They will need to be professionally made and fitted. If you fit this type of grille make sure you can still escape the building in case of fire.  A fire officer can give you advice.
  • "Smartwater" marking kits - the kit allows you to mark your property with an invisible and unique marker which only shows up under UV (ultraviolet light).  The system is provided under a license and is approved by many police forces.  There is a monthly subscription fee to maintain the license.  Find out more at www.smartwater.com.

Prevention tips:

To help protect your home and possessions from thieves:

  • Lock doors and windows if you go out.
  • In the summer be careful about leaving doors and windows open even if you are close by for example, in the garden or another room.
  • Keep ladders out of sight and secured to a fixed object if possible.
  • Keep bushes cut back near doors and windows - this reduces the cover a burglar needs when breaking in.
  • Lock up all tools including garden tools.
  • Fit and use automatic window locks to windows even those upstairs.
  • Fit and use mortise locks to front, back and side doors.
  • Fit and use good quality locks or padlocks to your garden shed and garage using anti-tamper screws.
  • Don't leave bikes and children's toys unsecured.
  • Fit security lights making sure they are not set off by cats or people walking past on the pavement as they use up a lot of electricity.
  • If you have bought an expensive item for example, computer, cover it with a cloth before bringing it into the house and bag the packaging before putting it out for collection.
  • Never leave keys in doors, under stones or flowerpots or near the letter box where they could be reached with a length of wire.
  • Make sure valuables are not left on display.
  • Fit a spy hole and safety chain to your door and use them.
  • Ask to see the identity card of callers and use the safety chain.  They may not be who they say they are, Genuine callers will not mind showing their card.  If in any doubt, close the door and call the police.
  • Get to know your neighbours so you can keep an eye out each others house when out or on holiday.
  • Do not keep your cheque book and cheque card together.

If you go on holiday:

  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries
  • Ask someone you trust to come in twice a day to open and close curtains and switch lights on and off
  • Use timer switches on lights and also the radio or TV (this will help give the impression that someone is in)
  • Use timer switches on lights and also the radio or TV (this will help give the impression that someone is in)
  • Take the phone off the hook - better still have an unlisted phone number
  • Be careful who you let know you are going away
  • Leave an emergency number and a key with a trusted neighbour or friend so they can check everything is OK
  • Unplug electrical items wherever you can.

Identity and credit-card fraud:

Sadly this type of crime is becoming more common. However, with a little care you can greatly reduce the chances of becoming a victim of these crimes.

  • Never give personal information, passwords or bank details to strangers who contact you in person, by phone or e-mail.If in doubt, check with your bank or building society.
  • Shred or otherwise destroy bank statements, cash-card and credit-card receipts and so on, before you put them in the rubbish bin.  You can buy a shredder for under £10.
  • Keep personal documents such as birth certificates and passports in a safe place.
  • Never keep a written record of passwords and PIN numbers and do not tell anyone else your passwords or PIN numbers.
  • Do not keep cheque books and cheque cards together.
  • Keep an eye on your bank and credit-card statements and check out any suspicious entries.

If the worst happens ....

A few simple actions can really help in recovering stolen property and reduce cheque or credit-card fraud.

  • Photograph valuable items like jewellery, antiques and paintings.  Give some idea of the scale by photographing the item next to a ruler.
  • Keep a note of the make and model numbers of items for example, TV, hi-fi or PC.
  • Use invisible (UV) marker pens to mark your possessions for example, TV, hi-fi or PC.
  • Use invisible (UV) marker pens to mark your possessions for example, TV, hi-fi, with your postcode and house number. Renew the markings every year.
  • Keep a record of phone numbers for all your bank, credit and store cards so you can cancel them immediately.
  • If keys are stolen change all locks straight away.

The Bobby Van, run by the police, upgrades security in the homes of victims of crime who do not have the money or skills to carry out the work themselves.  For more information, contact your local police station or the police website at www.hampshire.police.uk