Lock Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s and don’ts

Here are some ‘do’s and don’ts’ to help reduce the threat from burglars.

Do:

  • Secure windows and doors before you go out or go to bed
  • Leave one room – not the hall – lit up if you are out at night
  • Lock garages and sheds and keep ladders inside
  • Ask someone you trust to watch your home while you are away.
  • If you are not sure about answering your door, you may like to ask your neighbour to help you: Nominated Neighbour scheme leaflet (PDF).
  • Mark your valuables with your post code and house number using an ultra violet pen.
  • Keep your doors locked even when at home.
  • Secure garage and shed doors: they are full of ’tools’ thieves can use to break into your home
  • If you have an alarm, use it.
  • Make your home look lived in. Put lights, radios and TVs on variable timers. Have someone stay inside your home for a while each day if possible.
  • If you leave a vehicle outside your house, have someone move it periodically, to make it seem as if it is being used.
  • Lock‐up tools, BBQs and ladders and make sure they are out of sight; set and test your timers; and leave shades and blinds in normal positions.
  • Turn off the telephone ringer so no one knows your home is empty.
  • Don’t leave outgoing phone or e‐mail messages saying you are away.
  • Read your home insurance policy to find out how often your home needs to be checked to maintain your cover.
  • Keep a list of all credit cards, and contact phone numbers for each card and keep it in a safe place. This will help if they are lost or stolen.
  • Put gifts where they can’t be seen from outside your home.
  • Remove the boxes of valuable presents as soon as possible. Don’t store them outside the house, fold them if not possible to recycle immediately.

Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service will hold onto your mail while you’re away and deliver it when you get home.

Don’t:

  • Leave door keys under mats or flower pots.
  • Keep large amounts of cash at home.
  • Let strangers in without checking their identity.
  • Leave packaging from appliances outside your home.

Around your home:

  • If streetlights outside your home are broken, contact your local council to fix them
  • If lighting is poor around your home, fit external lights.
  • High walls, fences or hedges may give you privacy, but they also provide cover for thieves.
  • Consider planting thorny plants under windows. Berberis is very effective and ornamental.
  • Lay pebbles instead slabs. They are cheaper, easier to maintain and make noise when trodden on.

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