Keep your home secure

Inconvenience, heart-ache and whole lot of cash make up the key costs of domestic and non-domestic burglaries.

We have consistently driven down the number of burglaries in Norfolk for several years and we are working hard to drive them down further but there are still a number of measures you can take to protect your property and prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

The definition of a burglary includes several elements but is generally understood to involve someone entering a building as a trespasser and stealing or attempting to steal property. This includes someone using a ‘trick’ such as posing as an official to enter a building.

Here we give you some top tips on how to protect your home, your shed, and even your oil tank. We also have details of some schemes running across the county which may also help you.

 

Your Home

You can reduce the risk of your home being burgled by making sure you’ve taken these simple (and often inexpensive) precautions:

  • Be aware - Most burglaries are carried out by opportunist thieves. Sometimes, they don’t even have to use force - they get in through an open door or window. Get into the routine of checking that windows and doors are closed and locked and use window limiters if windows are to be left open at night. 
  • Evaluate the height of your front boundary – walls, fences and hedges should all be no higher than 1m and trees should be crowned to 2m from the ground to give a good view from passing traffic/pedestrians so any thief will be visible.
  • Lighting on the property should be fit for purpose – don’t light areas which are not overlooked as this gives the criminal light to work in with little chance of detection. Consider lighting at the front of the property to make sure all visitors are easily visible. Dust to Dawn lights can be more effective that sensor-activated lights, they can have a lower lux (dimmer) so they do not cause irritation to neighbours.
  • Fit locks which are fit for purpose to your windows and doors. All final exit doors should be fitted with at least one five-lever mortice lock which is BS3621. All accessible windows should be fitted with window locks – two on windows over 30cm. Accessible windows are all those on the ground floor and upper floors accessible from a flat roof or other climbing aid. 
  • Use automatic timers to light up your home and consider using timers on any radios inside your property to give the appearance of occupancy and create a level of uncertainty in the mind of the criminal.

You can help make your community safer and reduce crime by joining or forming a Home watch scheme in your area.

 

Your Shed

Safeguard the whole of your property – Don’t forget the garden shed! It often has plenty of tools or equipment but limited security. An insecure shed can also give the criminal the tools they need to break into your home. Shed owners can take the following steps;

  • Fit good quality mortice locks or padlocks one third up and one third down on the door to reduce the leverage available. Mortice locks should be BS3621, any padlocks and hasps should be approved by Sold Secure. Don’t forget the hinges as they can be a weak point – use one way screws so they cannot easily be removed.
  • Consider if you need a window in your shed – it is another way in for thieves. If you do need a window then lock it and make sure the thief cannot see in to check what you have. Mesh can be used on the inside or outside to improve the security.
  • Fit a security light and shed alarm to deter potential thieves.
  • Use padlocks and chains to secure high value items including power tools, lawnmowers and cycles to an anchor and/or invest in a wire cage where they can be stowed and locked away.

 

Your Oil Tank

Farms, commercial properties and householders who have heating oil on their premises should remain vigilant as to the possibility of being targeted. A few simple measures can make a big difference to protecting your oil tank. 

  • Thieves will want to put their vehicle as near to the tank as possible, so trying to prevent that is one way to reduce the risks. Position the tank so that access to it can be restricted when the premises are unoccupied will reduce the opportunity. It should also be situated within sight of nearby occupied buildings and not hidden from view behind outbuildings. Lighting may also deter potential thieves.
  • Control switches should be located in a secure building and the electricity supply turned off when the tank is not in use. 
  • A good quality locking device should also be fitted to all fuel tanks such as a high-quality shackled padlock. Owners could also consider perimeter security for the whole tank such as a metal cage or fencing. Make sure all products have been attack tested, check they are Sold Secure approved by logging on to www.soldsecure.com.

 

How We Can Help

Private householders and businesses throughout Norfolk can get a free site-specific crime prevention survey of their premises carried out by a qualified member of our staff.

We have many officers in Safer Neighbourhood Teams who are trained to do domestic crime prevention surveys and they can be contacted through the team that services your area.

For large dwellings, farms, commercial premises, schools and industrial estates you will need a Crime Prevention Officer (also known as a Crime Reduction Officer) who is trained by the Home Office, they can be contacted via 101.