There are many countermeasures which can be employed to deter criminals. Here are ten simple ideas to contemplate.
Fit deadlocks compliant with BS3621 to all external doors, and consider doing the same for sheds and other outbuildings. Deadlocks require a key to unlock them, regardless of whether you are inside or out. This means that a potential criminal will have to physically break the door frame, or the door itself, in order to leave without a key. Criminals are well aware that nothing looks more suspicious than being forced to exit by climbing through a window whilst holding a television! If you are concerned about a deadlock being a barrier to exit in an emergency, you could fit an additional “nightlatch” for use when the property is occupied.
Do not leave keys in locks, hide them under plant pots, or store them near doors and windows. A cursory search near locked doors will often reveal hidden keys. Bear in mind that thieves commonly use poles, or rods, to lift keys through letterboxes and open ventilation windows.
In the garden area, lock up ladders and tools. Try to store them out of sight too, as this will reduce the risk of an intruder using them to gain entry.
Garage door bolts can be used to strengthen security at this potential weak point. This is especially important to consider with integral garages, because they provide a secluded location from which to gain access to the rest of the property.
Door chains and “spy holes” give added protection when used before opening the door. If you are purchasing new PVC doors, look for these items as standard because retrofitting them can be costly.
To provide the impression that someone is home when a property is in fact unoccupied, consider using timer switches for lights and a radio or television.
Have a burglar alarm installed. The best alarms come with professional monitoring, but this can be expensive and a great alternative is to have a fitted alarm system that allows remote monitoring and viewing through the Internet, with some systems even sending text message alerts.
Barriers, such as thorny hedges or iron railings, may help to deter criminals. It’s worth considering that high fence panels or walls can provide a sheltered area for a thief to make an inconspicuous entry.
Lock your windows. Locks should be fitted to all windows, but especially to those reachable from drainpipes, trees, and flat roofs.
Anti-climb paint can be used on fences, brickwork, drainpipes, and roofs. It is best applied above head height to prevent accidental contamination. If using this product, consider whether or not you need to display a warning sign. The paint has a useful lifetime of around 3 years, but an annual check is recommended.