HOME SAFETY – all you need to know about property security

Hi my name is Jeremy Heyworth I am a locksmith at premier monitoring services I have been a security engineer and locksmith for 10 years and over that time I have come across many circumstances where, if some care and attention had been applied prior to a theft or burglary, the outcome may have been a lot different. Theft and especially house burglary’s can effect people quite badly as home owners feel that “they and their property have been violated” by the burglar entering their home or property. Either way if they are out or even worst while they are in or asleep. The latter can be more traumatic as it plays on ones fears of the not knowing and being venerable. This is also rather ironic as there is a famous cliché that says “An English mans home is his castle.”

So I have decided to start writing a blog to impart, hopefully helpful information based on experience and common sense regarding home and property security. So you can endeavour to make your property and it’s content a lot safer and be more security aware.

This month’s topic will be gardens front and rear; Sheds, alleyways and pathways surround your property.

When assessing what security you need for your garden you need to take several things into account. NB it is always good to involve your neighbours as consulting them could alleviate any future issues. The last thing you want to do is spend loads of money on improvements only to be told by your council that you have gone to far. It could also help with costs, as you may be able to get them involved. Crime is always better tackled by communities and groups of people, standing up to those individuals that feel the need to commit this type of crime. Always remember when considering security. It is not just about one preventative measure it the sum of all parts. Many security features are better because if one fails or is by passed you have other options. It is also not about spending vast sums of money. One of the best things you can do is to complete a comprehensive security review of your property. This will alert you to what is needed, so you can prioritise and action the most essential parts.

Below are examples of questions you need to ask yourself, when considering where the security hot spots are at your own property rear. The answers you get from these questions will determine what level of action you need to take regarding preventative measures.

1: `What access is there to your garden and where is it situated? For example is the properties garden located at the end of a row of houses i.e. next to a road? Or is there an alleyway at the rear of the garden or down one of the sides of the property? Or has it got houses either side with a gate to the garden from the driveway?

Firstly lets take a look at identifying security hotspots regarding easy access to the rear or the property and the garden via gates, alleyways, driveways and roads.

Gates next to the house and fencing:

The thicker and more solid the gate and fencing the better. There is no point in having a big heavy gate if the fencing is flimsy and not dug into the ground properly. That is not to say though you can’t make a less heavy gate and fencing into a security positive. Premier Monitoring can provide a BS3621 Insurance rated Mortise lock that fits into a standard 50mm thick door. Hasps and loops with are couple of weather – proof padlocks, are also good but for regular access the deadlock would be more convenient. A gate latch and slide bolts can be suitable but only if correctly and securely fitted to the top and bottom of the gate along with padlocks.

You can also put trellis on top of the gate and fencing to increase the height as well as possibly growing a plant that is think and bushy. This will cause a thief to think twice about trying to gain access over your wall or fence.

There are also plastic spikes that can be fitted to the tops of fencing and walls. They are safe but will cause discomfort if climbed on.

If you can try and avoid gates that allow anyone to view through them as this may possibly give the thief an idea of the garden lay out, possible entry points and also if there are any tools that can used to aid in entry. The height of the fencing or walls is important to. You don’t want to go to high as this can be prison like and will mask anyone of your neighbours seeing if anything untoward going on, but also not to low as this will provide no real barrier. A starting point for the height is from 5 foot up to about 6 foot. (not including any planting or trellis.

Lighting, motion reactive lights are good as any movement turns the light on and can alert you to someone in your garden. Please note any movement by anything will activate the light. The lights can be hard wired to the mains or powered by a battery with LED light bulbs. Gravel down pathways is good as walking on it creates a noise.

Locks, thick gates, high fencing, Lighting and noise deterrents are useful as they can put off a burglar as it may alert someone to their actions. Remember a thief wants to be undetected, as they want to do everything they can, not to alert anyone to their actions and get caught.

One of the services premier monitoring provides is CCTV installation and monitoring our engineers will always come and visit the property to fully access and provide an assessment. So that they can full discuss with you what is best suited for your situation.

CCTV is a good tool to have in your defence of a property especially if there are alleyways as they can provide a deterrent and the ability to record a crime and use the recording a evidence. We have all seen certain television programs that report on the actions of criminals and use the recorded footage to catch and prosecute thieves and other criminals.

There are plenty of kits on the market that allow self installation these are fine as long as you are aware that you need to ask and make sure the equipment you purchase is going to do the job that you require of it.

If you manage to create a situation where any potential thief looks at security measures you have taken and say to them self. “That’s going to take to long to get through”. Or “there is no way I can get over that”. Then that security hop spot has been reduced greatly.