Winter Security Guide

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Content Supplied by Yale Door

Winter is coming. Again.

As the nights grow longer and the mercury drops, it’s important to feel safe in your home. In this article, we help you open the door to a more secure home.

In the UK, burglary accounts for 7.35% of all crime recorded by the UK Crime Stats website. And 56% of domestic burglaries happen at night, which means winter is a season of favourable opportunities for criminals.

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Contrary to popular beliefs, most burglaries are opportunistic, and hinge on how secure your home appears. Burglars will usually take the path of least resistance. Open gates, lots of places to hide, cat flaps. These all suggest that security may be lax within a property, regardless of if you’ve locked your doors and windows.

But there are things you can do to deter burglars and to protect your home. For example: when going out make sure you leave some lights on, possibly on a timer, in areas such as living or bedrooms to give the appearance that someone is home at all times. If you are going away, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to open and close your curtains regularly. You should make sure you have security lights on the outside of your home too, further deterring potential burglars.

But is that enough?

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In over 65% of burglaries, entry was gained through the front door, so it’s vital that your front door is secure. Yale Door, experts in home security, offer some advice on how to ensure your home is protected:

Check Weak Points

Try some simple checks to determine whether your door is up to the job:

  • tap across the face of the door and listen for a hollow sound. A solid door will sound just that, solid.
  • Check the frame for signs of rotting. in particular look for material peeling or starting to break off.
  • Make sure hinges and screws aren’t coming loose. This can be a sign that the door is beginning to warp.

Extreme weather can weaken the integrity of doors. If you have a wooden door and frame, the cold and rain can begin to rot the wood if it is not thoroughly maintained, which can weaken it. Temperature changes can also warp the door, making it fit incorrectly into the frame, making it easier to break through.

Check Your Locks

A weak lock is easy to break or pick open. Adding a deadbolt or installing a cylinder guard will help to prevent picking, impact or having the lock wrenched off.

Yale anti-bump and anti-snap cylinders and multi-point locking strips ensure you have three points of contact between your door and frame, making it difficult to force open.

Go keyfree. Having a digital front door lock is an ideal way to secure your home without the need for keys. Keyfree locks are the new age in home security technology. Simple and easy to use they’ll provide you peace of mind that your home and family are secure.

Check Your Windows

Doors and frames with glass panels look great and let in lots of light, however they can be a security risk. Install or check the glass is laminated (meaning two pieces of glass bonded together with a sheet of laminate between them).

Consider security film, which is easy to fit over the glass panels and holds together when shattered.

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Yale also suggest using reinforcements and deterrents, such as Security Chains, which are a simple but effective layer of defence. Spyholes are great for checking who’s at your door. If you’re ever unsure or anxious about who’s at the door then do not open it.

A strong door is your first line of defense. If your door is not up to the job, upgrade to a Police approved composite door with toughened laminated glass and Yale cylinder, in addition to a chain and spyhole for extra security.

If you door is secure, there are other areas of your home that may not be. Here are some extra tips to ensure your home is defended:

Get A Good Alarm

It might sound obvious, but Burglars can see a rubbish, broken or unserviced alarm a mile away. Buy an alarm system from a reputable, well known company, such as a Chubb alarm or the Yale Connected Security range which allows you to control all your security systems from your smart device.

Defend Your Property

Make sure any gates you might have aren’t convenient to step onto or over. Michael Fraser, ex-burglar and security expert, suggests putting trellis on top, as burglars hate it because it can snap and attract attention.

Don’t Make It Easy

Use curtains and blinds to stop your front room looking like a shopping catalogue, but ensure your window locks are clearly visible. Hide any devices, such as phone and ipods, out of sight.

Caging your letterbox prevents burglars being able to ‘fish’ for keys to your home or vehicles using wire.

Lock Up The Shed

Keep anything a potential thief could use to break into your home locked away. Tools such as spades or garden forks can be used to force open doors and windows, and garden furniture can provide a boost to less secure points of entry. Keep out of sight and out of reach in a double locked shed with wire on the windows.

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It’s important to feel safe, but it’s even more important to be safe. Home security is extremely important all year round, but the dark nights of winter pose unique dangers. Thankfully, there are many things we can do to significantly reduce the risks.

For further reading, check out the Independent’s Guide to Beating Burglars and Yale Door’s Blog for more helpful tips.