With school holidays coinciding with the end to social distancing regulations in England this month, many of us will be looking forward to getting out and about in the – hopefully – summer weather. But this means thieves will be out too. Follow our tips to make sure you stay safe.
After 16 months of varying lockdown regulations in Peterborough thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, they seem finally set to end on July 19, which means the public can get back to something approaching normal.
Having spent most of the time couped up indoors, many people will be looking to get out and about and visit attractions in the Peterborough area and further afield. But it also means that burglars will also be out looking for potential targets and unattended houses are ideal.
However, if you follow these tips, you can help to reduce the chances of falling victim to a burglary and the stress and heartache that can entail.
Lock up, not down
If you are going out for the day, or even on a break, check that all the doors and windows – upstairs and down – are securely locked. This might be basic security, but many people do neglect to do this.
Many burglars are opportunists and, on seeing a house that is seemingly empty, will try doors and windows in case there is an easy entry point.
Likewise, keep any valuable items, such as tablet devices, out of sight if you are going out. Many potential burglars will look through windows to see if there is much that is worth stealing – or easy to steal – before trying to gain entry. If they can’t see it, they are more likely to move onto another potentially easier target.
Check lock security
But even if you do lock your doors and windows, they are only as secure as the lock on them. If a lock is in poor condition, or old, or fitted incorrectly, it isn’t as secure as it could be and means it can be easier to break.
If you decide that it is worth upgrading the locks on your doors and windows, then it pays to get a professional locksmith to do the installation of them. Locksmiths – such as those who work for Inta-lock Locksmiths in Peterborough are experienced at fitting locks of a sorted and can ensure they are fitted and work properly and leave a professional finish.
If you have things like a garage or a shed, then their security needs to be considered. These are often used more in the summer – its where lawnmowers and such like are often stored – and as a result can be a target for thieves.
On a basic level, don’t leave them open or unlocked when you are working in the garden as it can take seconds for an opportunist to steal something. It is also worth ensuring they are as secure as possible. For instance, if you have a shed secured with a padlock, make sure it is one where as little of the metal ‘loop’ is as visible as possible as that makes it more difficult for it to be cut with bolt cutters.
Install a burglar alarm
If you are planning to be regularly out in the daytime – be it that you are back in the office or taking day trips with the kids – and leaving the home empty for long periods, then a burglar alarm could be a worthwhile investment. There are a wide range of alarms on the market, but, in general, they make an attention-grabbing noise if anyone trips it – which is the last thing a burglar wants.
Burglar alarms are getting increasingly sophisticated, and more will now send you an alert by text or smartphone app if the system is tripped. Some also automatically send a message to a monitoring centre who then contact the local police.
Of course, just having the alarm box fitted obviously to the outside of your home can put off some would-be burglars.
You might not realise it, but hot weather can affect doors and their security. In hot weather, they can stick or swell, which means they don’t fit as well in their frame and this can affect their security. To avoid this, if you have a wooden door, it is worth painting it in a light colour to reflect more of the sunlight. uPVC doors can be affected too and washing them down with cool water can help to step them from overheating.
Another factor in summer is that, if the weather is hot, people tend to leave windows open to let some fresh, cool air in. Of course, this presents opportunities for opportunist burglars who only need a few seconds to reach in – or jump in – snatch an item of value and then exit again just as quickly.
But there are ways to stop this happening. For instance, you can buy relatively cheaply devices that limit how far a window can open. While these are predominantly a child security device, it is effective at stopping someone trying get in or reach in.
It should also go without saying that items of value are not left in sight and/or easy reach of an open window – although it is all too easy to forget to do this, especially if you are just popping out of a room for a short time.
While no anti-burglar measures are ever foolproof, following these should reduce any chances of being victim of a burglary. If you live in Peterborough and the surrounding area and are concerned about the level of security in your home, call Inta-lock Locksmiths in Peterborough and speak to one of our friendly team who will be able to provide you with a no obligation quote for any work you may require.
Likewise, if you want a locksmith to check the security of your house, Inta-lock Locksmiths can do this, and will provide impartial information on any additional security measures that may be needed. Call our team or email for more information.