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Home Security Tips – Inside your Home

  • Ensure your doors have adequate locks – protect doors with dead bolt locks.  Statistics show that 70%* of all break-ins are through a door.
  • Secure all your sliding glass doors with a metal bar or wooden dowel placed in the door track.
  • Close and lock your doors and windows – even if you are only going out for a short time.
  • Don’t leave valuables in sight through windows where burglars can see them.
  • Don’t leave keys in their locks – ensure they are put away, even if you are at home.
  • Ensure that all ground and basement windows are fitted with locks.
  • Use a security marker pen to mark your postcode on your property – this will enable the police to return any stolen property to you.  Make an inventory and keep the list in a safe place.
  • Light up inside your home – ensure that you have appropriate lighting.  This is one of the most cost-effective deterrents to burglary as it gives the impression that a home is occupied.

Choosing a Quality Supplier

Whilst the majority of those in the security industry provide a good service and quality products, there are those who overprice jobs, target older people with inappropriate security or sell products that may not be as secure as required.  Use the following list to help you make choices and stay in control of the process.  If in doubt do not buy or sign anything until you have sought advice.

Do’s:

  • Check your security against the information on our web site to decide where you think you need to improve.
  • If your budget is limited deal with doors, locks, windows and perhaps a small safe for passport, jewellery and valuable documents before you embark on alarms and CCTV.
  • Identify at least 2, preferably 3 companies that deal with the type of security you need so you can compare quality and price.
  • Choose suppliers by recommendation from friends, companies whose products have the Secured by Design Police Preferred Specification logo, or are members of a nationally recognised organisation specialising in security.  See useful contacts below.
  • You may be able to install or replace some security yourself using good DIY skills and products that have passed technical standards and tests.  Secured by Design pages explain these.
  • Tell the supplier which areas of security you believe you should improve and ask for written quotes detailing the work to be done and the cost.
  • If the firm suggests you need additional security, check to see if the other firms quoting suggest the same.
  • For alarms and electronic security ask which parts of the system will be owned by you and if there is any future maintenance or monitoring charge.  If you do not own the whole system and you cancel the maintenance contract you may lose protection.
  • If you are uncertain about the company or what you are being offered ask a friend or relative to help.  The Citizens Advice Bureau and Neighbourhood Watch are often aware of unreliable firms.
  • Check identity before allowing strangers or installers into your home.

Don’ts:

  • Discuss your security needs with door-step callers or telephone-sales staff.
  • Agree to work unless a written quote is given detailing the work and cost.
  • Disclose personal information, such as health problems, high risk items, such as jewellery, valuable stamp collections or artwork until you have decided on the security supplier AND you consider it necessary for security protection, such as requesting a safe or a special alarmed area.
  • Go to your bank or cash machine with the installer / salesman to withdraw cash.
  • Pay for all the work until the job is completed to your satisfaction.

Useful contacts:

British Security Industry Association (BSIA) for security companies
www.bsia.co.uk
Tel: 01905 21464

Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) for Locks and Hardware
www.locksmiths.co.uk/mla
Tel: 01327 262 255

National Security Systems Inspectorate (NSI) for Alarms & CCTV
www.nsi.org.uk
Tel: 01628 637512

Security Systems & Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) for Alarms & CCTV
www.ssaib.co.uk
Tel: 0191 296 3242

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