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Tips to keep your home burglar-free during the festive season

It's that time of year when we stock our homes with presents of the latest gadgets, expensive jewellery, designer goods, and a time when we let our guard down. With burglary one of the most common crimes, it's important to consider the security of your home during the festive season whether you are going away or not. Although contents insurance will pay compensation, nothing can pay for the stress it causes, or replace the personal items and gifts you may lose as a result of a burglary.

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NHBC, the UK's leading warranty provider and standard setting body for new build homes, offers the following security tips to help you keep your home and possessions safe and secure during the merry season.

Most newer homes in the UK come with security locks, burglar alarms and security lighting included as part of the standard specification ensuring that homeowners live in a safe and secure environment.

Check your window locking systems

Ground floor windows and any others that are easily reached by climbing are recommended to have an automatic lock at the press of a button that needs a key to open them. If you own a home built in the last ten years, this may already have modern security locks. Installing modern locks may also lower your house contents insurance premiums.

Improve the security potential of your doors

It is important to have robust locks on both the front and back doors, as well as a 180° door viewer to check on callers, a door opening limiter and hinge bolts on outward opening doors. Newer properties may already have these installed. You may also want to replace your front door if it looks tatty, it's the kind of thing that will attract a burglar's eye.

Do you have detection lighting?

Crime can be prevented by external detection security lighting that switches on after dark when someone is nearby, illuminating the general area. This allows both you and neighbours to see a possible intrusion.

Benefits of an alarm system

A house alarm systems acts in two ways - to deter intruders, and detect the opening of a window or a door. Some systems can also be linked up to a mobile phone number letting the owner know the alarm has been triggered.

When you are visiting family and friends - try to make your home look occupied!

  • Leave the lights on in the evening (but not just hall or landing lights) or use an automatic time switch.
  • Remember to cancel papers, milk and other deliveries before going away
  • If you're away for a length of time, arrange for a neighbour to generally keep an eye on your home while you are away.
  • Keep valuable and easily transportable items out of view. The temptation may prove too much for a passing burglar.
  • Hide small valuable items like jewellery

Some tips from the police

  • Photograph valuable items and use the new marking methods available, so that your goods can be traced if stolen. Make a note of serial numbers
  • Whenever you leave your home - even to visit a neighbour for a short time - make sure all doors and windows are securely locked.
  • If your front door can be locked by a key from the inside, make sure that you have a spare key in a convenient place near the front door so that you can get out quickly.
  • Do not leave ladders, steps etc. visible in the garden
  • Make your back garden private and secure. Lock rear entry gates. Plant prickly shrubs against wall and fences where access is possible.
  • Keep front hedges and fences no more than waist high, so that neighbours can see your front and side doors.

For more information, please contact:

Nadia Bedra  at NHBC, 01908 746 738

News Date: 16/12/13