Stay safe at home

With darker evenings upon us, stay safe at home.

Thames Valley Police are reminding us all to take basic home security measures to help ensure that we stay safe at home.

Tips to help you stay safe at home.

Reduce the chance of your house being targeted:

  • Invest in a timer light switch.  Vary the time it comes on each day to make it look more natural.
  • Used a radio or TV to give the impression that someone’s home.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.  Mark them with your house number and postcode using a UV pen.
  • Register your valuables via Immobolise and keep an inventory list. It’s free and takes just a few minutes.
  • Photograph jewellery for insurance purpose.  Store it in a suitable safe.
  • Lock your doors and windows.  Make sure you double-lock UPVC doors or windows by lifting the handle and locking with the key. Remove keys from locks and place out of reach.
  • If you’re going away, don’t post details on social media.  Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries.  If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set before you leave
  • Look out for your neighbours’ houses.  Call the police if you see anything suspicious on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Halloween – Stay safe at home

This halloween, if you don’t want trick-or-treaters to knock at your door, put up a ‘no trick-or-treaters’ sign and close your curtains.

Stay safe at home.  If you don’t know who is calling at your door, you don’t have to answer it. Look through a spy-hole or window before opening the door. Have a chain in place if you do answer your door. If you feel threatened in your home, call 999.

Perhaps Gardiner’s can help to ensure that you or a loved one stay safe at home?  We frequently visit clients for as little as one hour per week helping to promote confidence, build independence and provide reassurance.

Stay safe at home – Protecting homes of those who receive care

Protecting homes of those who receive care is important since they are more vulnerable than most to the exploits of criminals.  It is vital that we don’t become complacent about home security.  In the summer heat, we often tend to leave windows and doors open.

Common cases of opportunist summer burglary involve offenders that:

  • enter an insecure front door while residents are in the back garden
  • enter doors that are closed but unlocked at night while residents are asleep
  • reach through windows to take valuable items

 

When protecting homes of those who receive care,  it is important to strike the right balance between health /welfare on one hand and security on the other.   It is vital that we don’t become complacent about home security.

Stay safe at home – Protecting homes of those who receive care

  • Ensure that windows and doors are closed and locked when you are out. Don’t leave small windows open believing them to be safe.
  • If you want to leave windows open while you sleep, fit window restrictors so they cannot be fully opened, or make sure they are not large enough to allow access to a burglar.
  • When out in your garden ensure that windows and doors to the front of the house are secure. It only takes a second for someone to get into your home and take things without you noticing.
  • Do not leave valuables on display in front of windows or in reach of open windows or doors.
  • Ensure that all barbecue and garden equipment and tools are securely locked up in a shed and out of sight. Tools can be used by the potential offender to break in to your home.
  • Consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm to help deter burglars. Even using pea shingle or gravel on a driveway and spiky plants in garden beds can help.
  • Don’t leave any keys near entry points where they can be ‘fished’ or ‘hooked’ out through the window, letter box or cat flap.
  • Ensure any internal handle operated locks on UPVC doors are fully secured with a key.

Protecting homes of those who receive care – Sheds – Easy pickings?

Offenders see sheds as easy pickings because they are unprotected and lack basic security measures. The buildings often contain property that can be sold on or implements that can be used to force entry into the owner’s home.

  • Many sheds whilst being of good construction fall short on basic security.
  • It is easy to unscrew the ironmongery, steal contents and in some cases replace the screws to make it look as if the shed has not been tampered with.
  • By using tamper proof screws or coach bolts together with a good quality pad bar or hasp and staple and close shackled padlock, the shed owner will make it harder for the would-be thief.
  • It is also a good idea to bond any window glass in, with mastic to prevent easy removal.
  • Ensure all tools and equipment are locked away when not in use.
  • High-quality locks should be used on doors. Windows can be fitted with a grille or, as a cheaper alternative, chicken wire, to slow a thief down.
  • A shed alarm can also be installed.
  • Post-coding or indelibly marking all property such as lawnmowers, bikes, and tools using ultra-violet pens, forensic marking such as Selecta DNA or Smartwater or engravers.
  • Installing security lighting as a deterrent, and plants such as thorny shrubs to act as a barrier at potential access points.
  • If building a shed, putting it where it is most visible to you and neighbours.

Going away or on holiday? Stay safe at home

  • Make your home look occupied.
  • If you’re out or going away, ask a trusted neighbour to open and close your curtains for you.
  • Ask a neighbour if they don’t mind parking their car on your driveway and trimming your garden to make your home look occupied.
  • Cut the front and back lawns before you go away and trim any plants that burglars could hide behind.
  • Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries.
  • Before your holiday, don’t advertise that you are going away on Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Register for the Royal Mail ‘Keepsafe’ service.

In Hot weather home security can often be overlooked due to the need to keep cool.

Stay safe at home

Here are some top Hot weather home security tips from the Thames Valley Police about how to help protect your home against burglary in warm weather:

  • Fit window opening restrictors to all easily accessible windows – this will allow ventilation while restricting access.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors, even if just out in the garden.
  • Remove window and door keys from the locks, store out of reach and away from your letterbox.
  • Keep valuables out of sight, along with any visible signs including charging cables.
  • Hide the keys to your vehicle, and if you have a keyless entry, store the fob in a RFID pouch to block the signal.

For more guidance on how to protect your home, read the  the Thames Valley Police website and read their Home Security Guide

Did you know:

  • Burglars tend to avoid homes with security systems.
  • Most burglaries take place between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • The majority of break-ins are committed by burglars who live nearby.
  • Most criminals can burglarize a home in less than ten minutes.
  • Almost 30% of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window.
  • An astonishing 34% of burglars enter through the front door.
  • Burglars usually go to the master bedroom first.
  • Someone is home during nearly three out of every ten burglaries.
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John-Joe Cottam

John-Joe

My grandparents Dorothy & Ivan (Gus) Gardiner established Gardiner’s in 1968. Dorothy & Gus were very inclusive and ran Gardiner’s as a family business – my mother, uncle & aunt have all been involved with managing the business.