It is, without doubt, well worth taking reasonable precautions to protect yourself and your family and property against the risks of fire and burglary. The cost and effort involved is small compared with the expense of replacement or even rebuilding – not to mention the grief caused by personal injury or the loss of items of sentimental value.
How a burglar gains entry
Many people innocently believe that they are unlikely to be burgled because they are not conspicuously wealthy. But statistics prove that most intruders are opportunists in search of one or two costly items, such as electrical hardware (typically stereos, television sets and computers, jewellery or cash).
The average burglar takes only a few minutes to break into a house – often in broad daylight. Nevertheless, although it’s virtually impossible to prevent a deter- mined burglar from breaking in, you can do a great deal to make it difficult for inexperienced criminals. The illustration below indicates the vulnerable areas of an average house, and the points listed opposite suggest methods for safeguarding them. Check out each point and compare them with your own home, to make sure your security is up to standard.
Vulnerable areas of a house
1) The front door
Inadequate locks invite forced entry.
2) Darkened porch
Makes identification of callers difficult.
3) Back and side doors
Often fitted with inadequate locks.
4) French windows
Can be sprung with one well-placed blow.
5) Downstairs windows
A common means of entry if unlocked. Weak putty allows a thief to remove glass silently.
6) Upstairs windows
Vulnerable if they can be reached and opened easily.
7) Trap door to attic
The only way to enter a house from the loft.
A possible means of entry for a burglar if accessible from an adjacent building.
9) Unlocked gate
Provides a convenient exit for a burglar removing bulky items.
10) Garage or shed
A potential source of housebreaking tools.
As good as ladder to an agile burglar.
Burglar alarms and CCTV are valuable deterrents!
Seeking expert advice
If you require more detailed information about home security, you can obtain free advice tailored to your needs.
Crime Prevention Officer
Local police authorities appoint a full-time Crime Prevention Officer (CPO) who is responsible for advising both private individuals and businesses on ways to improve the security of their premises. Telephone your nearest police station to arrange for a confidential visit from the CPO, who will discuss any aspect of home security.
Fire Prevention Officer
Contact the Fire Prevention Officer (FP) at your local fire-brigade headquarters for advice on how to balance effective security measures against the need to provide adequate escape routes in case of fire. They will also explain the differences between the various types of simple firefighting equipment available to home owners. Some local authorities will fit smoke alarms free of charge in some instances.
Check with your insurance company that your home and its contents are adequately covered against fire and theft. Most household policies are now index-linked, the premium and sum insured being automatically adjusted each year to allow for inflation.
You can also opt for a ‘new for old’ policy that will guarantee the full replacement cost of lost or destroyed property. In some circumstances an insurance company may insist on certain precautions, such as a monitored alarm system, but they may also be willing to reduce your premium if you provide adequate security.
At Colchester Castle Electrician we help customers in Essex improve their home security by helping our customers to choose and install the right fire safety and security equipment. If you are looking to improve your home security then contact Colchester Castle Electrician today on 01206 700769.