There are often simple measures you can take to become actively preventative.
1. Basic Check List
2. Security Questions
3. Golden Rules
1. Basic Check List:
• Are your back & side doors unprotected because they don’t have any extra security devices? It is precisely these ‘entrances’ that are often ignored, meaning that crooks can work here undisturbed.
• Do your doors not have a protective fitting with a cylinder cover? Brand door cylinders provide a visible deterrent and at the same time protect the profile cylinder from attacks.
• Do your doors not have a profile cylinder with a security card? High-quality door cylinders provide maximum protection against opening by force and provide key security at the same time.
• Are the door fittings screwed on from the outside? Visible screws are an open invitation to offenders.
• Does the existing profile cylinder protrude more than 3 mm from the fitting? Just 3 mm ‘projection’ can easily be broken off. This puts your insurance cover at risk, too! • Does the entrance door not have an additional lock? An additional brand lock provides a visible deterrent and, because of the extra securing point, greater stability.
• Can unknown visitors push the door wide open when you open it? An additional brand door lock with a rim lock on the other hand prevents direct access to your home. • Do you not have a peephole or can you see only a part of the corridor with the one you have? Dangerous! A good peephole should make unwanted visitors immediately visible in a wide angle of about 200 degrees.
• Do your windows not have any extra locks fitted? Dangerous! Bear in mind that most standard windows on the market can be levered open in just 10 seconds. • Do your windows not have extra security devices on the hinge side? Dangerous! Hinge-side security devices are part and parcel of basic protection, because having security devices on both sides of windows and French windows makes it more difficult to lever them open from outside.
• Can small children easily open the windows on their own? Dangerous! Modern window security devices provide a huge range of options for taking effective precautions against break-in and the risk of accident.
• Are your back & side windows not secured by appropriate padlocks? Dangerous! Back & side windows are often forgotten entry gaps. Quality padlocks lock burglars out. • Are the curatins & blinds permanently pulled down? Have a neighbour to raise and lower them on a regular basis. If your house is being watched, this gives the impression that your house is occupied.
• Are your windows and French windows closed all day long? Again, have a neighbour air your house now and then – it will also have the effect of your not coming back to a house full of musty air.
• Is your garden rampant whilst you’re away? Do ask your neighbour to mow the lawn and do the weeding at least every fortnight. He’ll be glad if you do the same for him when he’s away on holiday.
• Is there never a light on inside or outside your house at any time? Timers or sensors that react to the intensity of light are the remedy – because often light alone is enough to frighten off tough guys.
• Are your dustbins never or permanently out on the pavement? Let your neighbour use your dustbin. Maybe he still has things he wants to sort out.
• Does your outgoing telephone message indicate you’re away on holiday? One call is enough for offenders to know how much time they have left. So choose a neutral text.
• Does a message on the letterbox tell the postman to leave parcels next door? You should avoid this. The postman will ask next door anyway if they can take the parcel. Don’t write an invitation to burglary on the letterbox.
• Do you already use a ‘house-sitter’ service? House-sitters come and live in your home whilst you’re away. These people take care of any jobs that need doing and make sure that the house is never empty.
• If you do have extra security devices, are they all bolted? The best extra security devices are useless if they’re not used.
• Do you use knob cylinders in your household? Ease of handling is just one aspect, e.g. for frail people – particularly in situations of danger you don’t have to look for keys with one of these cylinders. But if you have small children these knob cylinders should be used only with an extra door lock, since it would be too easy to open the door otherwise.
• Does your cylinder have an emergency and danger function? If it does, you can open the door using a spare key if the worst comes to the worst, even if there’s a key inserted on the inside. For instance if someone’s asleep indoors, or you forget to take the key out from inside when pulling the door closed.
• Do you have to get out a different key for every lock? Forget all about that thick bunch of keys – a locking system does the trick. Every lock from the garage and the front door to the bicycle lock can be opened and locked with just one key.
2. Security Questions:
The following questions should help you realise whether your property presents burglars with few opportunities.
• Are the fence and wall constructed in such a way that they are hard to climb?
• Has the top of the fence or wall been made more secure? • Has the garden door or yard door been fitted with a secure lock, made impossible to lift off its hinges, and is it high enough?
• Has an intercom been installed?
• From the house, can you see visitors that ring at the garden door or yard door?
• Are your garden plants (especially tall bushes) far enough away from doors, steps, ground floor and side windows?
• Is the property sufficiently illuminated by outside light? • Can the outside light only be switched off from indoors? • Is the power supply wiring to the outside light difficult to access?
• Are the entrances to the house in particular sufficiently illuminated?
• Can the outside sockets be switched off from indoors?
• Are the telephone wires laid underground or protected in another way?
• Are any climbing aids – such as ladders, barrels, etc. locked or chained up?
• Are outdoor taps turned off by an indoor stopcock when not in use?
• Are your two-wheelers locked up, ideally padlocked or chained up, on your property?
3. Golden Rules:
The eight golden rules of behaviour for your security are:
• Lock windows, balcony and patio doors, even if you’re away for a short period.
• If you lose your key, change the lock cylinder straight away.
• Even if you leave your house or flat for just a short time, don’t just pull the door to, double-lock it every time.
• Never hide your house or flat key outside – burglars know every hiding place!
• Curtains & blinds should be let down at night – and never during the day! After all, you don’t want to give such an obvious signal that you’re away.
• If you have a door with a glass panel, never leave the key inserted on the inside of the door.
• Watch out! Tilted windows are open windows and a gift for burglars.