Safety and Security Measures for Preventing a Burglary in Manchester.

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Although the number of burglaries in the UK have reduced considerably over the years, there are still a significant number that, with some simple measures, could reduce the numbers further.  Burglaries are often opportunistic, rather than pre-meditated, targeting of properties, and many of those opportunities are attributable to negligence on of tenants and/or landlords.   Therefore, the following is some simple measures that tenants/landlords should implement to reduce the potential for burglaries:

  • Locking Doors and Windows;
  • Use Social Media with Caution and Refrain from Information Disclosure;
  • Security (Burglar) Alarms;
  • House Key Security;
  • Security of Valuables;
  • Outdoor/External Security Lights;
  • Remote Control of Internal Lights;
  • Delivery Service Security;
  • Vehicle (Car) Parking Security;
  • Close-Circuit Television; and,
  • Further Security Advice.

Locking Doors and Windows

  • Irrespective of whether you’re out, at home or in your garden, you should always lock your house and garage doors.  It is also particularly imperative that all windows are closed and locked at night, and when the house is unoccupied, even for short periods of time.  An opportunist burglar can act at any time, day or night, and generally work very swiftly, without fear, when an opportunity arises.  Modern locks on windows and doors are usually fairly secure, but tenants/landlords could consider installing a deadbolt lock for extra security.
  • A large proportion of people leave their doors unlocked when they’re at home, but burglaries are committed even when properties are occupied.  Such cases also pose an additional danger in that the burglar may be armed with a dangerous weapon or device.  Therefore, by ensuring that all doors and windows are locked at all times is a key measure to deterring a burglar and preventing a potential burglary.

Use Social Media with Caution and Refrain from Information Disclosure

  • Social media (e.g. facebook, instagram, etc.) has become such a prominent part of everyone’s lifestyle, but its inherent danger is that it has become extremely easy to disclose information that could be exploited by prospective burglars.  It has become common practice to comment on a person’s whereabouts, whether it be on holiday or a night out, and to upload and share photographs to illustrate your enjoyment and excitement.  The obvious problem here is that you’re essentially advertising the fact that your home is unoccupied, thereby providing burglars with an easy opportunity to strike with potential catastrophic consequences.
  • Therefore, some simple security measures that should be implemented when using social media include, but are not limited to, amending your privacy settings to private, which means that only your friends and followers can view/access what you post. If you’re suspicious of anyone, unfriend or block them because it’s just not worth taking the risk.

Security (Burglar) Alarms

  • A security (burglar) alarm in a house is a fundamental deterrent of burglaries and all properties should have one, and which must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that it is operational at all times.  That said, even the most opportunist burglar will still attempt to criminally access/trespass a property, even one when an alarm is prominently displayed, in the hope that they have not been activated or are not functioning. 
  • It is essential that a security (burglar) alarm is operational and is not purely therefore for display purposes.  Despite their desperate state of mind and predicament, burglars should not be treated as fools and they, through their ‘occupation’, will know whether an alarm has been activated or is purely there as a ‘display deterrent. 
  • Therefore, a key security measure in the prevention of burglaries is to ensure that a high specification, modern-day alarm is installed, and that it is activated at all times when the property is unoccupied and in the evening when all persons in the household have retired to bed.  Modern alarms often enable you to set them in certain areas of the house, so when you go to bed, set the alarm downstairs.  As mentioned, burglars can act spontaneously at any time, so it’s essential that the alarm is activated, whenever you’re out of the house, even if it’s only for an hour.

House Key Security

House-key security (or lack of it) is one of the most common causes of a burglary and should therefore be offered the upmost attention.  Hiding keys (e.g. spare keys) under an

  • outdoor doormat, refuse bin, garden ornament or in a strategically-placed plant pot, should be strictly forbidden because prospective burglars are vigilant and may be monitoring (prowling) your property at any time.  They are one of the first places that an intruder will look so DO NOT use them even if you are vacating the property for a short period of time.
  • If spare keys are to be left outside the property, then a key safe, with secure passcode, should be installed, and the passcode must remain undisclosed to outside persons, even friends.  Alternatively, if a key safe is not installed, spare keys should be left with a trusted neighbour or friend.
  • House keys left in the property should kept out of sight (e.g. not on a hanging hook or on a dish by the door) and not in the view of any windows.  Burglars have the intelligence to improvise and often use protruding devices through open windows and letter boxes to access keys, so don’t underestimate them.
  • Also, house keys should not be labelled with any information (e.g. address) that would allow any perpetrator to ask the property in the even that keys were misplaced.

Security of Valuables

  • Analogous to house key security, the same security principles and measures apply to valuables and personal belongings. Laptops and tablets are a particularly attractive commodity for burglars, so they should ALWAYS be securely located and not left in obvious and easily accessible places.  If you leave your laptop or tablet in plain view of passers-by, you could be encouraging a break-in.
  • Further, all valuables, including keys and personal possessions such as watches, wallets, jewellery, etc., should also be securely located. Where safes are provided, ensure that they are used and that all passcodes are not disclosed.
  • Outdoor/External Security Lights

  • Motion-activated security lights (in particular, in the rear garden of a property), which automatically illuminate on detection of movement, are an effective deterrent for burglars for two reasons, namely:
  • Activation of a light alerts persons, both house residents and neighbours, to a potential intruder and subsequent contact with the police; and,
  • An illuminated outside environment at night will greatly enhance the chances of noticing and identifying an intruder.
  • Such lights are relatively inexpensive and easy to install and maintain, and it is therefore highly recommended that, given the obvious benefits that they achieve.

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