Since most of us are sat at home right now, you could be forgiven for thinking that you don’t have to worry about being burgled. And yet you’d be wrong. There were two burglaries, in the broad daylight of last Friday afternoon, in my area alone.
What would be the consequences of your home being burgled and your business laptop being stolen? Could your company continue to operate? Could it survive the loss of goodwill of your clients, whose data had been lost? Could you cope with the additional stress of the investigation of the data breach by the ICO?
The good news is that there are five easy things you can do to minimise the chance of you being broken into. And because you, dear reader, are sat at home right now, there’s no reason why you can’t get up RIGHT NOW, and go and do them.
Check your wooden external doors. And by “external doors”, I mean your front door, back door, conservatory doors, porch doors, garage doors, and even doors direct from the house into the garage. Check that there is a British Standard kite-mark on the lock face-plate on the edge of the door. Check that it says BS3621 underneath. Check that the year mentioned is 2007 or later. If not, it needs upgrading.
Check your double glazed doors – that’s u PVC and Composite, in the same locations as the wooden doors. Check that the lock has hook bolts – the parts that actually do the locking need to be hooked. Older locks only have the small sliding rollers, which can be popped in literally seconds. Also check the cylinder face, where the key goes in has 3 stars. Ignore any BS kite-marks here, if you have one star or no stars at all, again you need to upgrade.
Check your windows are locked – and that means with a key. Check all ground floor windows, and all first floor windows that are near a conservatory, extension or garage roof (or even a shed). Check even small windows, it’s surprising how small a gap a burglar can fit through.
Up&Over garage doors. Don’t rely on the small T-handles that most have fitted. A piece of scaffold tube gives enough leverage to snap these easily. Add additional security locks to the door, to protect your bikes, power tools, garden tools, etc.
81% of burglars say that they are discouraged from burgling a house with a working alarm system. So if you have an alarm system, take a look at the siren outside – does it look like it works? If not, consider upgrading it. And if you don’t have one – get one! Modern alarm systems connect to an app on your phone, so you can tell as soon as it detects an intruder.
Doing these five things will greatly reduce your chances of burgled – the advice applies equally as much at work as it does at home. And if you’re not sure whether your property needs some upgrades, get in contact.
Scott Andrews, of Amberley Security in Portsmouth, has been in the security industry for all his working life of over 30 years. He has been featured on BBC Radio Solent’s Ask The Expert slot on numerous occasions. When not protecting other people’s properties, he can often be found out jogging, or coaching youth football.