How to Protect Your Homes from Burglars by Crime Prevention Officer Gerry McBride
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Crime Prevention Officer, Gerry McBride is reminding people on how to take steps to prevent burglars from targeting their homes to keep people and belongings safe.
Gerry said: “Simple measures really can help deflect a burglar away from your home.
“Ask yourself - How would I get in if I had to? Once you’ve done this then you need to plug these weak spots as soon as possible.
Follow the thought process of a burglar:
- Is anyone at home?
- Are there any obvious security measures in place?
- Can I be seen from adjoining properties/is there any natural. cover/bushes/high hedges etc?
- Are there any valuables on display?
- Are there any tools/ladders lying about that could help break in?
- Are there any unlocked doors or windows?
- Can I get away easily – local footpaths/track/playing field or open land adjoining?
Use the onion as your guide!
If you cut an onion in half you’ll see that it’s made up of layers, from the outside to the inside. In Crime Prevention we use The Onion Skin Principle when suggesting measures to improve security. The principle is all about working from the outer layer or the perimeter, and working your way toward the centre, or contents of your home.
Consider each of the layers as shown below and look at the suggestions I’ve put forward, many of them simple measures that you can put in place to help beat the thief!
Starting at the perimeter:
- Fencing topped with trellis – more difficult to climb/breaks easily
- Gravel traps/pebbles – noisy underfoot
- Keep gates closed.
- Prickly plants, pyracantha, roses, berberis, holly are all good contenders.
- Maintain walls/fences/hedges in good order.
- Prune and maintain trees to maintain natural surveillance.
- Keep the area clean and tidy by removing debris and litter.
- Don’t let shrubs grow up near the front of the house to shield a thief.
- Property mark garden furniture.
- Use ground anchors for valuable items.
- Security lighting – dusk to dawn is preferred.
- Keep your wheelie bin out of sight and secured. These are often used to aid climbing into a property.
- Consider a shed alarm
- Extend the house alarm if possible.
- Fit good locks
- Fasten items to each other with Sold Secure chains and locks, and to the fabric of the building
- Mark your property with house number and postcode
- Intruder Alarm - choose an approved company eg one registered with NSI or SSAIB
- Simulated TV’s – safer than leaving the real one on!
- Plug in timers or smart switches that work from an app, to bring on lights/radio
- Keep doors and windows locked – beat the sneak thief
- Keys – keep them safe out of the lock/out of sight but where you can get to them in an emergency
- Don’t tag keys with your address
- Consider a safe secured to floor or wall for personal papers/passports/small valuables such as jewellery
- When going on holiday – cancel deliveries
- Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property.
- Check who is at the door – chain and door viewer.
- Consider CCTV but ensure its coverage doesn’t extend beyond your perimeter.
- Fit window locks.
- Have good contents insurance
- Property marking using your postcode and house number
- Make use of tracking for laptops/iPads/phones
- Keep valuables out of sight.
- Photograph valuable items – picture with a tape measure/rule so an idea of scale can be provided.
Further information available from
Check identity of callers – if in doubt – keep them out!
If you have any information about a crime contact the police on 101 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555111.”