Year on year, the Christmas period sees criminals increase their targeting of residential properties. Now that it is over, it's good practice to continue the same level of attention to protecting our homes.
Martin Herbert, Managing Director of Banham Group, headquartered in Earlsfield, shares his tips on keeping homes secure.
Lock your doors
It might seem obvious but always keep both your front and back doors locked even when you are at home. 26% of burglars manage to gain access to a property through an unlocked door. If you don’t know who has your keys, change your locks as 1 in 10 burglars enter the property with a key.
Ensure your windows are not vulnerable
Make sure you close your windows when you are out and never leave your windows open and unsupervised. An opportunist may just take the chance to enter and quickly take portable valuables like phones, tablets and laptops. By fitting sash stops on sash windows, for example, you can secure your windows at various ajar positions
Consider carefully what you publish online
More than ever, people are sharing their locations and movements on social media. From a security point of view, this is a real concern and therefore we recommend you think twice about your online activity e.g. 'checking in' at a remote location.
Fit an NSI approved Intruder Alarm and have it monitored
Burglars can often spot a dummy bell box or DIY system and will know that they can break in without any interruption from the Police. Banham, for example, has a 24 hour monitoring centre to respond to any alarm activation 365 days of the year to ensure a response from a nominated keyholder and/or the Police upon a confirmed activation
Consider a high security door
Cheap, wooden panelled doors can often unfortunately be easy to kick down and break into. We recommend replacing flimsy doors and frames with strong, quality wooden doors and you can find great designs with high security features. Look for high-security doors, preferably which include a hidden 1.5mm steel sheets within the panels for extra strength. By having a high security door fitted with good quality locks, you can have peace of mind that your home is more secure and less likely to be targeted
CCTV cameras can be another good deterrent. Thieves and vandals do not want to have their images taken as evidence and with a professionally installed CCTV System, you will have high quality footage to rely on if required
Register and protect your keys
Use a Key Registration system to prevent your keys being duplicated without your authorisation. The Banham Key Registration System tracks how many keys have been cut ensuring your keys and property are kept safe
Use a professional Keyholding and Alarm Response service
A Keyholding and Alarm Response service, such as CMS Keyholding, can provide regular patrols and checks of your property, internally and externally, which is particularly useful for when you are travelling or away from your property. If there is any alarm activation, a Key Guard will always be on hand to attend to your property to with a fast response and will report back to you and the Police, if necessary
Ensure the Proper Operation of Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors
Ensure that every major area in your house is equipped with a smoke detector. We would recommend having smoke detectors attached to your intruder alarm so they get regularly checked as part of your regular maintenance contract
Safely secure any outdoor equipment
Tools like ladders and wrenches left outside your property may be used by buglers to force entry, we therefore advise to keep them locked in a garage or a secure shed with a steel padlock. We make sure our padlocks are designed to resist the harshest attack and also function reliably in the very worst weather conditions so are suitable locking outbuildings and shed