Recently, we wrote and article on the topic of protecting your home from burglars and it raised some attention from a local police officer who was happy to share a few more tips with us.
It was definitely an enlightening discussion because the 3 facts this officer presented were indeed new to me and not mentioned in our previous article. So, please have a read to make sure you are in the know.
Let me paint you a picture: you have a nice secure front door and that has you safe as can be from the front. You read our tips in the previous article about burglars and you have also got a nice secure back door too. You may well keep a key for that back door next to it or even in the lock, ready to be turned and you have assured yourself that no burglar can reach it in any way other than smashing through the door.
This is not all they can do with that key!
Interestingly, crafty burglars are not just looking for a way in, they are looking for an easy escape too. Imagine they crawled in through a tiny window or noisily forced their way through the front door; to escape through the back they now need to simply turn your key and they're out much more discreetly and easily.
So keep your back doors secure and locked but also keep the key out of sight otherwise you will be providing them with a quick alternative exit too.
You come home from work and you close the front door behind you, maybe you even pull your multipoint door lock handle up to hear that reassuring locking mechanism doing its work. You spend most your evening downstairs in the lounge, you would hear any break in and you feel safe in your castle.
If you have a standard uPVC door with a multipoint lock that is a great way to secure yourself... when you lock it. Unfortunately people generally don't do this when they are still in, they think it is good enough that it is a big door and they are indoors to hear any noise of a break in.
Actually a lot of uPVC doors can easy be broken through, by getting a screwdriver and cracking it through the uPVC casing and into the point that the door locks into the socket. This will then ease it back and the door is unlocked. Of course when the door is properly locked this wont work as there are usually 5 locks up the length of the door holding it in place but when unlocked it is just this one small latch. Remember if you pull the multipoint locking handle up when entering the house it can simply be pulled down again from the outside if you didn't lock it in place.
Maybe you think it doesn't matter since you will hear the noise and put off any burglars. Actually, the police officer relayed an example night time burglary where the criminal saw the items he wanted through the windows then BANG! through the front door, straight into the lounge, grabbed the goods and left. During this time, the victims, an adult brother and sister, went from sleep, to listening, to concern, to asking who that was, to checking the other bedroom to see if the brother was in, to the brother going downstairs. The burglar was long gone by this time.
If you do get burgled and a lot of your things are gone will you ever get them back? Probably not if you don't make a note of their serial numbers. Most valuable items, generally electronics and bicycles will come with an identifying number of sorts so write down the make, model and description of the item and also this serial number to go alongside it.
When a burglar is caught and their stolen goods seized, their serial numbers are entered into a database to see if there is a registered owner. If you are able to provide the police with the serial numbers of your stolen goods when the crime is reported, you will be flagged up in this database and the items will be returned to you. If not, unless your items was particularly unique or the offender admits which house they came from, you will probably never see your goods again.
So make a note of all your valued items' serial numbers now or since we're in a technology mood you can register with the website https://www.immobilise.com and add all your items along with their serial numbers into their database, they even give tips on where to find the serial numbers on your items. Registering your items in this way will make sure you don't lose the numbers and also police can use this service to find the rightful owners of recovered goods.
We don't mean to scare you but this information is well worth knowing and could save you from such a horrible and invasive crime in the future. So move your back door key somewhere less obvious, lock your front door from the inside at night and make a note of your high value items' serial numbers. Three simple steps that will make all the difference. Next you can take a look at our previous article on protecting your home from burglars.