Although I’m desperately hanging on to the last vestiges of a poor summer (optimistically still in shorts and flip-flops)! the leaves are beginning to fall, the nights are drawing in fast, and there is a distinct autumnal feel to the weather. There tends to be a spike in the burglary figures at this time of year, burglars tend to be opportunists, using the seasonal weather changes to their advantage. So, get ahead of the game, cut down that hedge to a height they can’t operate behind without being seen, and change the blown bulb in that outside light. Even better, fit a new sensor light bursting into daylight if anyone approaches, all burglars hate being seen, and surprised. We are all vulnerable at the hands of these bad people, but there are things you can do to avoid becoming a victim, like using the tips above! I aptly call these “odds reducers”!
Let’s take front and back door security, this must cover all elements of the entrance, obviously the door itself, the door frame, any glazing, the locks (and lock keeps), hinges and bolts. First job; ensure the frame is securely fixed within the masonry, add a couple of extra frame fixings equally spaced apart to both frame uprights, (chemical fixings are readily available to create great anchors in most materials)! Next thing; look at the door, check any machined panels in the door, do not weaken it and make it vulnerable to be smashed in easily. Check the rails haven’t been compromised by being cut down too much, and any redundant locks have been removed and the void filled and patched with wood glued securely into place. If the panels appear vulnerable, a sheet of plywood could be cut, glued and screwed to the inside of the door to strengthen it.
Glass panels can be protected by mounting detachable, fine, or ornate mesh grills to the inside, behind the panels, allowing removal for easy glass cleaning! If you don’t already have external lighting, fit a sensor light above the door, a really good cheap deterrent! Hinge bolts add great strength to the hinge side of the door and frame, cheap and an easy fix. A door guard / chain bolt, are great extra protection against opportunist door steppers, preventing forced entry by strangers, again a cheap easy fix! A door requires a minimum of two locks positioned approximately a third up from the floor, and a third down from the top (at least one needs to be a five lever security deadlock, normally the lower one!). Always use good quality locks, and keep the keys away from prying eyes, enterprising burglars often use fishing rods to lift keys from hallway tables via the letter box, they steal all your valuables, and then drive off in your car with the spoils to add insult to injury! If your door has no glass vision panels, then fit a peephole, allowing you to see who is calling BEFORE opening the door, again a cheap and easy fix! Finally, fix a pair of shoot-bolts top and bottom of the door internally, which gives you extra protection when you’re at home, but also offers an easy escape route in the case of an emergency, like fire! As I said, now is a good time to sort this out, complete all your “odds reducers”, and avoid becoming a victim!