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Author Topic: How To Keep Your Homes Safe Whilst Being Cost Effective  (Read 107 times)
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« on: October 02, 2022, 03:20:05 PM »

We understand that with the cost of living increasing, including energy and gas prices rising, we all want to ensure we are spending our pennies wisely. During the winter months we tend to see an increase in burglaries; this is due to a number of factors such as the hours of darkness being used as a cover for intruders to carry out thefts; homes and businesses being stocked up with higher value items and gifts for the festive season and people travelling and socialising leaving their homes vacant. We have compiled a list below of how to keep your home secure whilst remaining cost effective.

Timer Switches –
The use of timer switches means you can illuminate your home so it isn’t left in darkness and vulnerable when you go out. Timer switches are flexible and allow you to adjust the times of when you want your lighting to come on and turn off, meaning you don’t have to leave lights on permanently and instead in intervals.

Solar Security Lighting / Sensor lights -
The use of solar security lighting means you are using renewable energy to light up the outsides of your home; making it less desirable to burglars. Solar lighting converts the light from the sun into direct electrical currents which is how the solar light works. We suggest installing security lights to cover the front and back of your property to ensure the entry points are covered by sensor lighting. You can also find security lighting which is battery operated.

Physical Barriers –
Installing long term physical barriers to protect your home is cost effective. Having fencing and gates (we recommend having locks for the tops and bottoms of your gates) helps protect your home from unwanted visitors. The use of stones and pebbles on gardens and driveways also helps alert you if someone is approaching your home due to the sound of the movement. Increasing the visibility of your home means neighbours can help look out for suspicious activity. Burglars don’t like to be seen or heard therefore they will be most attracted to homes where they there is little opportunity for disturbance.

Keeping on top of your waste –
Recycling card board boxes of deliveries and packaging. If desirable item packaging is left outside your home, this could entice a burglar into your home for your valued goods. Don’t leave waste to build up and recycle this at the earliest convenience. Also ensure you cross out your personal details on packaging before it goes into waste.

Closing your curtains/ using shutters and blinds –
As simple as this sounds, this works as a physical barrier to stop unwanted visitors peering into your home. Ensure your valued items are not on display and kept safely away. Lots of people tend to keep their vehicle keys stored near their front door along with card holders/ coins, watches or jewellery – Remember to store these items away out of sight or take them to bed with you. We also recommend if you have a keyless car, to store the key fob away in a lined tin or copper or aluminium lined pouch to prevent the signals being transmitted – Criminals have used devices to transmit these signals from the key fob without needing to enter your home, unlocking your car and taking it.

Doorbell Cameras –
There are a range of doorbell cameras available now including battery operated or rechargeable. These can be set up so they detect motion at your front door, connecting to your mobile device to alert you of a presence or motion detection. We also suggest the installation of CCTV, however we understand this can be costly therefore doorbell cameras are a cheaper way of securing your home with cameras. This also helps the Police with investigations as camera footage can be used to identify an offender or capture suspicious activity. This also helps connect you to your home whilst you are out and gives you that peace of mind and freedom to check on your home without physically needing to be there. You can also buy fake cameras online or through the local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. These are ‘dummy’ cameras which appear to be real and can deter a burglar from your home.

Use of deadbolt locks –
Using double locks are more secure and means they can’t be picked and have to be activated with a key. As suggested above, we also recommend installing locks on the top and bottoms of your garden gates. Always remember to check you have locked your windows and doors before vacating your home. It only takes one time to forget that you can leave your home vulnerable and at risk.

Letter box cover –
Installing a letter box cover means your post can be collected and stored in a tin rather than being left visible or stacking up in a pile on the floor. Burglars can see if your home is vacant if post and packaging is left collecting. It is also worth collecting your outside bins soon after they have been collected; help your neighbours to do the same. Burglars can see which homes are vacant by which bins have been left out or failed to collect by the owner.

Please remember to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity or criminality to us.
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Message Sent By
Olivia Richardson (Police, PCSO, Thames Valley)
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