**Indoor Security Guide for Bicycles** [Burglary Prevention]

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**Indoor Security Guide for Bicycles** [Burglary Prevention]
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Posted: Jul 21, 2010 at 16:10 Quote

Welcome to my guide on home security. I have put this information together from my own wording, but most of the information is from the Metropolitan Police, and a couple of people from another forum.

This guide will help you know how to lock your bike up and take precautions and measures against bike thieves.

There are two solutions to this:

a) The budget way (without expensive security alarms which alert the police)

b) The expensive way.


Firstly, I will explain the ins and outs of burglary in summary. Then I will proceed to security solutions a and b.

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The breakdown - 10 Top Tips:

-Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name.

-Register items with a serial number at: www.immobilise.com

-Do not leave your car keys or ID documents near doors, letterbox or windows.

-Always check who’s at the door and don’t open it if you feel anxious.

-Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.

-Keep your valuables out of sight.

-Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home.

-Install a visible burglar alarm.

-Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked.

-Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time.

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How a burglars Mind Works

Burglary, on the whole, is an opportunist crime. A burglar will select his target because it offers him the best opportunity to carry out his crime undetected and with the fewest number of obstacles in his way. A building that presents itself as unoccupied and insecure is far more likely to be targeted than one which is properly secured:

-Side gates open

-Accessible windows open

-Ladders left out, allowing access to otherwise inaccessible windows

-Garden tools available to force entry

-Untrimmed hedges or high fences preventing natural surveillance

Each of these makes access to the building far simpler and is an indication to the prospective burglar that it's worth a second look.

Residents of multi occupancy dwellings or flats should be mindful not to grant entry to people via an entry phone system, if they do not know them, and to be cautious of people seeking to 'tailgate' them into buildings.


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The question is, are the occupants in?

-Milk bottles or parcels on the doorstep

-Newspapers and mail in the letter box

-Unlit houses after dark

-All windows shut in very hot weather

These are signs telling the burglar that he is unlikely to be disturbed in the course of his work. Naturally, circumstances may arise when such situations may be unavoidable. If we can take measures that tell the burglar that this building is too difficult or too risky a target, he will hopefully move on.


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Are you leaving a thief the key to your house?

-Never leave a spare key concealed anywhere near the front door - burglars know all the hiding places

-Prevent letterbox burglaries by storing keys away from the front door

-Do not label your house keys in case you lose them and they fall into the wrong hands.

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Remove temptation

-Where possible, try to keep valuables out of sight from windows.

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Make it look as though your house is occupied

-Install timers which switch lights or radios on and off automatically.

-Have a neighbour or friend pop round to clear your letter box or doorstep.

-Encourage a neighbour to park on your drive.

-If going out after dark, draw the curtains, leave some lights on and a radio playing.


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If you are away for extended periods.

-Cancel the delivery of milk and newspapers

-Disconnect the telephone answering machine, or re-word your greeting message to give the impression that you are only temporarily unable to answer.

-Enlist the help of a neighbour, friend or relative to keep a regular eye on your property and keep the front door clear of deliveries.

-If you are prepared to leave a key with a willing neighbour/relative, ask for curtains to be drawn and lights to be put on at night. If snow is on the ground a few footprints will make the house appear inhabited.

-Check your insurance policy. Some insurance policies for contents don't cover you if you are away for more than 30 days.

-Set your burglar alarm.

-If you do not have an alarm, consider investing a few pounds in a dummy alarm box. It may well deter the opportunist thief.

Remember: Remove the Opportunity - Prevent the Burglary


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The following information applies to budget and expensive as is between and should be a priority to protect your home. Not only will a burglar be after what they saw you take in your home, they will also go for any other possessions you own whilst they're there.

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Ground anchors are cemented to the ground, or mounted to it. Wall anchors are usually bolted to a solid wall.

These devices are great and will hold your bike securely, leaving the thieves to resort to noisy tools to get your bike, which isn't easy. However, you'll need a decent lock or chain combo (the more proper locks the better) Kryptonite D-Locks and Almax chains with Squire lock are the best out there and will make a very hard job for the thief to get to.


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Front Door Security


A rim latch (Yale type) on its own is not sufficient. The door should also be fitted preferably with a 5 lever mortice deadlock, though insurance companies will accept a rim automatic deadlock; both must be to British Standard 3621 or the equivalent European Standard EN12209.

Quality locks are only as strong as the doors and frames to which they are attached. Ensure that the frame is sound and the door suitable for external use; for instance, a wooden hollow core door would not be suitable. It should be of substantial construction, at least 44mm (13/4") thick to support the mortice lock and hung on three strong 100mm (4") hinges. The rim latch and the mortice should be fitted 45 to 60cm (18-24") apart. In the door itself recessed or decorative panels should be a minimum of 9mm (1/3") thick.
Consider fitting a London Bar (metal strip on frame side) to support the strike box, or Birmingham bar to support the frame on the hinge side. If the door is weak consider fitting a sheet steel plate or door reinforcer on the outside covering the lock area.

Timber frames should be sound and securely bolted or screwed to the the walls every 600mm (23") around the whole frame.
Doors with glazed panels are inherently less secure than solid doors, hence the need for a deadlock. Consider replacing ordinary or toughened glass panels with laminated glass - two pieces of glass bonded together with a sheet of laminate - as they offer much greater resistance to attack.

For added safety and security fit a spy hole and door chain or limiter. These will enable you to deal with callers to your front door whilst retaining a level of security.

UPVC/PVCU front doors are generally unsuitable for retro-fit security devices. Not only is the material not strong enough to support devices fitted with steel screws unless secured into the internal metal framework, but such changes to the original design may invalidate an existing warranty or possibly damage the integral locking assembly.
If in doubt, consult the installer/manufacturer.
Modern designs will usually incorporate deadlock shoot bolts or a multi-point locking system, both throwing a number of bolts from the door into the frame.
Under these circumstances there will not normally be any need for additional devices.

Advice on front door security while the house is occupied will vary, depending on whom you speak to. Fire Safety Officers will advise that, for safety reasons, the mortice deadbolt should not be engaged when the house is occupied, as locating and engaging the key can cause unnecessary delay in escaping from the scene of a fire.

Crime Prevention Officers may suggest that a rim latch on its own is insufficient in providing adequate security and that engaging the lock would increase this, as well as the safety of young children in preventing them from wandering. Clearly these are issues which need to be considered.
If you feel fire safety is the priority, additional security can be obtained by fitting draw bolts to the top and bottom of the door.

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Back Door

The door should be fitted with a 5 lever 2 bolt mortice sash lock halfway up the door, (a deadlock with a handle for convenience). Unlike front doors, many insurance companies do not specify that they should be to British Standard 3621 or equivalent European Standard EN 12209, though the use of this standard of lock is recommended.
The sash lock should be supplemented by mortice rack bolts (bolts fitted approximately 150mm (6") from the top and bottom of the door into the wood and operated internally) or surface-mounted locking bolts top and bottom.
They should always be fitted at 90º to the grain of the wood, reducing the likelihood of the wood splitting if subjected to pressure.
Any glass panels should be laminated and fitted from the inside to prevent the putty or beading being removed. Grilles could also be fitted to the inside of the panels.




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French Doors


Also known as French windows, they are intrinsically less secure than single leaf doors, which may reflect on their comparative lack of popularity as compared with the modern patio door. However, this need not be the case provided that suitable security measures are taken.
Both doors should be fitted with mortice rack bolts (bolts fitted within the door and operated internally by a threaded key). They should always be fitted at 90º to the grain of the wood, reducing the likelihood of the wood splitting if subjected to pressure. Alternatively, use surface-mounted locking bolts (push to lock, key to open). Whichever type you use, fit top and bottom to provide rigidity.
If the style of door is capable of it, a mortice sash lock can be fitted for extra security (rebate sets may also be required).
As most French Doors are outward opening, the addition of hinge bolts is also recommended. They should be located 100-150mm (4-6") below the top hinge and similarly above the bottom.
Note: It would be acceptable, for insurance purposes, for key operated bolts only to be fitted top and bottom of both doors.
Consider replacing ordinary or toughened glass panels with laminated glass - two pieces of glass bonded together with a sheet of laminate - as they offer much greater resistance to attack.
UPVC/PVCU French doors are generally unsuitable for retro-fit security devices. Not only is the material not strong enough to support devices fitted with steel screws unless secured into the internal metal framework, but such changes to the original design may invalidate an existing warranty or possibly damage the integral locking assembly. If in doubt, consult the installer/manufacturer. Modern designs will usually incorporate deadlock shoot bolts or a multi-point locking system, both throwing a number of bolts from the door into the frame. Under these circumstances there will not normally be any need for additional devices.

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Patio Door

Entry through a patio door is a common means of entry and therefore, unless the doors are fitted with a multi-locking system, it is best to fit extra locks.
These are fitted on the bottom fixed frame pushing through to the sliding frame in the centre and on the side frame at the opening point no lower than a third of the way from the top of the door. Most such locks are push to lock and key to open and are therefore easy to use.
Make sure there is enough frame to fit them on if drilling is required. If in doubt, consult the installer or manufacturer.
A dual screw can be fitted between both frames but it is more awkward to use, so there can be a tendency to leave it unlocked, thus defeating the object. An alternative would be to fit long-throw bolts top and bottom of the opening door.
Some patio doors can be lifted off their track. If you can lift it more than 1/4" simply screw wood blocks of a suitable depth into the channel above the opening door to prevent this. Alternatively, anti-lift devices are available from locksmiths


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Flats & Apartments

Providing the front door is less than 4.5 metres above ground level the advice given in the soors section is applicable.

However, in those situations where this is not the case, i.e., most typically flats two floors or more above ground level, the level of security is dictated, to a degree, by statutory fire regulations.

Their basis is that the Fire Brigade should not be hindered unreasonably in its job of rescuing trapped occupants.

These regulations prohibit the fitting of a locking device on the front/final exit door which, if operated, requires a key release to open it from the inside. This would exclude the use of standard mortice deadlocks if they can be operated from the inside.

They specify that exit from the flat is achieved by the operation of a single action release, opening being accomplished by means of a handle or thumb turn.

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Construction of Doors and Frames

Wooden doors and frames should be of solid hardwood or solid core construction. The door must be to a minimum thickness of 44mm and the frame should have a rebate of not less than 18mm. Three good quality 100mm hinges and two hinge bolts should support the hinge side. To achieve additional frame strength, consider using steel reinforcing or London/Birmingham bars.
Glazed or glass panelled doors should preferably be of a minimum 6.4mm laminated glass or equivalent strength polycarbonate sheet, with consideration given to utilising internal grilles as additional protection, especially where lock releases could be accessed through a broken pane. Before installing polycarbonate sheets you must seek a fire officer's consent. Glazed doors which have no frame, even if constructed of toughened or safety glass, offer little resistance to attack and cannot easily be reinforced.
It should not be possible to gain access to locks or security fittings via letter boxes.
Their siting into walls sufficiently far from doors or windows should be encouraged.
However, if they are fitted to the door, the recommendation is to install a basket or protective plate to prevent the unauthorised operation of the locking devices. In either case, the plate must be sited at least 400mm from the locks

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Locking Devices

Doors without Electronic Access Control

Ideally the door should be fitted with a lock which has an automatic deadlocking facility, approximately a third of the way down from the top of the door. Additionally, a mortice deadlock latch should be installed a third of the way up from the bottom of the door and it should be used as often as is practicable. These locks must be suitable for emergency exit purposes, in that they must not require key release from within, opening being achieved by means of a handle or thumb turn. Where there is any conflict between security and fire requirements or legislation, the latter must prevail. In any case of doubt, seek the Fire Officer's approval.
All doors must be fitted with an automatic closing mechanism, both properly adjusted and regularly maintained, to ensure that the door is secured at all times. Doors should never be left wedged open, as this not only negates any security within the building, but may also contravene any Fire Regulations.

Doors with Electronic Access Control

The remote release lock should be of a type that has an electrically operated bolt action with an automatic deadlocking facility, or is a magnetic type lock. It is imperative that the system has a safeguard incorporated, which ensures that the lock can be released in the event of a power failure.

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Access Control Systems

It is preferable that at least one of the following security measures applies:

-The door is secured at all times and visitors are permitted entry via a remote release facility which is linked to an audio-visual or audio only entry-phone.

-The door is secured at all times and visitors are met personally at the door.

-The communal entrance is constantly monitored by a receptionist or concierge.

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Glazing

-All crime prevention advice is based on the deterrent and delaying value of the various security devices which can be installed. Locks on doors and windows certainly provide the main thrust of the advice, but in themselves they are only part of a complete security package.

-All single-glazed areas on both the ground floor and other accessible areas can be vulnerable to attack. After all, plain glass is easily breakable. Consider replacing ordinary or toughened glass with laminated glass, two pieces of glass bonded together with a sheet of laminate. This is far more difficult to break through as it will not shatter and will therefore delay any attempt at forced entry, a valuable deterrent.

-Alternatively, you can place a plastic glazing film over the glazed area to prevent the glass from shattering, though the clarity of the glass will be reduced.

-When replacing glass in wooden windows use a glazing mastic to bond it to the frame, as it is far tougher than putty.

-Leaded windows are particularly susceptible in that they offer little resistance to attack. Lead is a soft material with poor tensile strength. To protect them you can install secondary glazing, or, alternatively, fit metal grilles or bars. Such measures can detract from the overall look of your windows, but it is important to be aware of their vulnerability

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Secondary Glazing

Though they are not installed these days, there are still many houses fitted with secondary glazing, mainly aluminium. Because of the narrow profile and intrinsic weakness of the frames, there is very little additional security which can be added. Such glazing has generally been fitted to wooden framed windows, which can be secured by standard window locks.

However, sliding secondary glazing can offer additional security with the fitting of a key operated clamp on the bottom rail of the frame. Particularly in hot conditions windows are left open to allow the circulation of air. This, inevitably, reduces the level of security. By fitting a sliding window lock to the bottom rail you can restrict the slide to a few inches.
Alternatively, drilling a small hole through the bottom rail at the point at which you wish to restrict the slider and inserting an appropriate sized bolt will suffice.

Additionally, to prevent the slider being lifted, fit a wooden block of a suitable depth into the track above the slider. When used in conjunction with stay locks or child safety locks on the primary glazed window, security is enhanced further.


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UPVC/PVCU

In many cases it is not possible to retro-fit any extra locks to UPVC windows. This is because the material used is not strong enough to support a metal lock fitted with steel screws. It could also damage the window and perhaps invalidate any existing warranty.
Double glazed window locking systems should be fitted at the time of manufacture. A general rule to follow is that the handle should not be the only means of keeping the window closed. The locking system should be fitted within the framework and the handle is used as a means of throwing or engaging the internal locking system.
Always consult the manufacturer/supplier before attempting to fit any extra locks. There are locks that can be fitted to UPVC casement windows, but only if there is no integral locking system within the framework, typically where the only means of security is a locking handle.
There are two main types of locking systems:


-The first is espagnolette (multi-point) locking, which are bolts (normally 3 sets) set into the window and located into locking points in the frame when the handle is turned. The bolts should be mushroom headed so that they can engage behind the locking point, thus enabling the window to resist being forced apart from the frame.

-The second type is deadlock shoot bolts which locate into the frame at both opening side corners.

-There is also a deadlock which secures the opening side of the window at the handle.

The window can also be fitted with high security friction hinges which locate into the frame on the hinge side.
For additional strength sections of hardened aluminium or galvanised steel reinforcements should be fitted at the time of manufacture within the hollow profiles of the windows and frames, so that the locking systems can be secured through the UPVC frames into the reinforcements.
It is preferable for the windows to be fitted with internal beading to avoid the possibility of the glass being removed from the outside. There are some systems which have external beading but are secure because the glass is adhered to the frame or secured by special tamper-proof clips, but in most cases internal beading is preferable.
Lastly, if you are considering replacing your existing windows, look for the new British Standard 7950 kite mark. It has been established to set specific manufacturing standards of design and security for windows.


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Wooden casement

Illustration of Casement lock mechanism Fit locks which secure the frames together in preference to locks which simply secure the handle or stay bar. Casement windows, by their very design, need to be locked by securing the window to the frame. Most casement locks are screwed to the window rather than the frame - a weaker system. There are locks which are fixed to the frame and these are probably more secure, as well as being easy to use.

There are also locks specifically designed for use on windows with tapered edges (not 90º to the frame).

Illustration of rack bolt mechanism If the window is flush to the frame fit mortice rack bolts (bolts fitted into the window and operated internally with a key). They should always be fitted at 90º to the grain of the wood, reducing the likelihood of the wood splitting if subjected to pressure and fixed into either end of the frame. You might want to consider using door mortice bolts for a longer throw.

Illustration of push lock mechanism If you are intending to use the type of lock that screws to the window, the following test is a rough guide to help you to decide how many you will require: with the window closed, press each opening corner. If there is any movement, fit a suitable lock, such as a push lock (push to lock, key to open) at each corner on the opening side. If there is no movement, a lock fitted to the centre of the opening frame will suffice.

It is possible to secure wooden casements in the open position for purposes of ventilation, very necessary in hot weather, or child safety. These are particularly appropriate in a ground floor bedroom situation where someone wishes to sleep with the window open.

Likewise they are well suited to upper floors where windows can be locked open, allowing ventilation but, at the same time, preventing children from opening the window beyond a safe aperture. Whilst it is recognised that this type of device is designed more for safety purposes rather than security, it would be likely to alert the occupant if an attempt to force it was made. It is intended that these locks should be used only when someone is in residence. If your home is unoccupied the windows should be locked in the usual manner.

If you are considering replacing your existing windows, look for the new British Standard 7950 kite mark. It has been established to set specific manufacturing standards of design and security for casement windows.

Note: Georgian wired glass may look strong, but it will easily break. It is a fire safety glass not a security glass.


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Wooden sliding sash

You cannot rely on existing central sash fasteners. Sash stops are strong and convenient to use and do not need to be removed from window when opening fully. They can be set into the top frame allowing the window to be left open about 5" for ventilation but still secure. For optimum security fit in pairs.

An alternative form of lock is the dual screw. These in effect bolt the two sashes together. An added bonus is that, in so doing, they also reduce draughts.

The beading which holds the glass in place is frequently only pinned. The window can be made more secure, either by gluing in addition to pinning or screwing the beading, if wide enough, in place.

A modern style is the 'tilt to clean' sliding sash, not only sliding up and down but also tilting inwards for cleaning by undoing two clips on top of each moving sash. These should be secured by fitting both sash stops and dual screws.


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Metal Crittal

Illustration of casement lock mechanismIllustration of fanlight lock mechanismYou can either secure the window or the handle to prevent opening. One of the main problems with this type of window is the narrow profile of the frame, making it difficult to fit devices.

For this reason there are locks specifically designed for this type of window. It is probably easier to secure the handle, where there is normally more room to fit the lock. Use a fanlight lock to secure the fanlight window.


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Aluminium

The highest level of security fitted by the manufacturer on most aluminium windows, including coated aluminium, is a locking handle, but, whilst it would be satisfactory to most insurance standards, it is not particularly secure. This is because it is the handle which is being locked and not the window. As most handles are not of a good casting standard they have a tendency to break under pressure, or come loose from the frame.

It is possible to fit extra locks to aluminium windows, but care should be taken to ensure that there is enough metal around the window to be able to fit the lock without contacting the glass. Suitable locks designed for this purpose are available.

In the case of sliding horizontal aluminium windows, additional security can be achieved with the fitting of a key operated clamp on the bottom rail of the frame. Windows are often left open to allow the circulation of air, particularly in hot conditions. This, inevitably, reduces the level of security. By fitting a sliding window lock to the bottom rail you can restrict the slide to a few inches.

Alternatively, drilling a small hole through the bottom rail at the point at which you wish to restrict the slider and inserting an appropriate sized bolt will suffice. Additionally, to prevent the slider being lifted, fit a wooden block of a suitable depth into the track above the slider.

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Louvres

Illustration of louvre window lock mechanism Louvered windows are not so common as they used to be. In the main, this is because their inherent lack of security is well recognised. There are some measures that can be taken to make them less vulnerable, but these should be seen only as temporary, for overall, it is best to replace them at the earliest opportunity.

Some are made with the glass secured in the frame. If not, fix the glass in both frames with an epoxy resin adhesive. If the windows are sited in a vulnerable position, you may need to fit a grille or bars, though the better option would be complete replacement.



Leaded windows

These are not secure unless you fit secondary laminated glazing, polycarbonate sheeting, or internal grilles.

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Lighting - Exterior

-A useful addition to perimeter security can be exterior lighting, either switched manually or automatically operated. Lighting does have its limitations - burglaries often take place during daylight hours; if the light is activated, someone has to notice it - and take action. Lighting should be seen as an aid, but on its own it is not sufficient to deter a burglar.

-The most common form of lighting is passive infra-red which is activated when someone comes into its field of vision. The light can be set to stay on for a set time and then it will re-set if the cause of its activation is no longer present. A passive infra-red unit can activate single or multiple lights.

-Lights can be useful on the approach to a front or rear door or garage, not only lighting up if someone approaches your house, but also when you approach, so that you can see if anyone is lurking in the shadows. It must be remembered though that lights can be activated by certain animals. Also, you do not want the light to be activated every time your neighbours go into their garden or when someone walks past the front of your property. However, the field of activation can be adjusted. You must also make sure that your light does not intrude into your neighbours windows or those of passing vehicles - light pollution can often be at the centre of many disputes.

-An alternative is to fit low pressure sodium lights which are operated by a photo-electric cell. This turns the lights on at dusk and off at dawn. It is a much less obtrusive light and, although it is on all night, it can be cheaper to run than spotlights.

-These lights can be DIY fitted, but if you are not sure, it is essential that you contact a qualified electrical contractor.

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Lighting - Interior

A sensible arrangement of leaving lights switched on inside the house while the house is unoccupied can help to give the impression to a passer-by that the house is in fact occupied. It is sensible to use a downstairs room with a drawn curtain and sufficient light inside to suggest that the room is occupied. A light should not be left on solely in the hall - a thief may guess that the premises are unoccupied as it is not normal for the occupants to spend all night only in the hall!

There are many automatic devices available - simple and extremely sophisticated - that will turn lights on and off in random fashion and may even be set to control other electrical appliances such as the radio or television. Automatic switching will help to convince the casual thief that the house is occupied.

Most of the time security lighting will be all that is necessary to scare off a potential intruder. But do remember, lighting cannot work miracles. It is sensible to make sure that your physical defences - the locks, the bars and window bolts - will resist attack. Let your neighbours know that you are out, and if you are a member of your neighbourhood watch scheme so much the better. You can also inform your local police station that you are away.

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This is where budget but effective security devices come into play.

If you use all of the below devices and set them up around the home, you'll be fine.

Top Tips for budget security:

-Padlock alarm on your bike.

-Shed alarm on your shed.

-Install secret cameras as well as real cameras.

-Only install cameras indoors so thieves don't get the idea you have expensive valuables indoors.

-Put dummy cameras indoors, so it leaves the thief with less time to carry out their plans.

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Internet CCTV Cameras

If your property has Internet you can get some cost effective Internet CCTV cameras on the market, and a even cheaper alternative if your on a budget is to use a wireless webcam configured to take a picture every 2 or three seconds, or configure this against a motion sensor. Configure this to upload the images to the Internet (dropbox, cloud hosting etc) and you have the data nice and secure and more importantly out of reach of the thief.
The other advantage of a Internet ready CCTV camera or wireless webcam is that you can log in and check things yourself if you have a concern.
You can have a CCTV Internet based solution which not only works in the manner described above, but it also has a motion sensor which when trigged sends your mobile phone an SMS message to alert you to this fact. A webcam is not vastly more expensive than a dummy cam, but offers vastly more.

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Wireless Alarm Systems

Wireless alarm systems work well and are cheaper than wired systems. They do run on batteries, but as long as you change the batteries once a year then no problems and sometimes the system will remind you when the power is getting low.
Some even have SMS texting alerts to tell you if you have an intruder whilst out.

A Phone Jack and a Wall Outlet

A wireless home security system requires only a phone jack and an electrical socket. The system control panel is plugged into the wall, and hooked up to the telephone. Four phone numbers can then be programmed into its computer to be called in case of an emergency. This system does not need to be monitored by a home security company and there are no monthly fees that need to be paid for the service. If the alarm system is set off, it will sound a very loud siren, the lights in the house will flash on and off and of course, the four phone numbers will be immediately dialed so that other people you have selected can be made aware of what is happening inside your home.

Easy Installation

A wireless system is so easy to install that most homeowners can install it without need of a professional to get the job done. Once in place the system monitors doors, windows and detects motion throughout the house. When a sensor is tripped, the device sends signals to its various functions via radio waves, instead of wires. While a wireless security system is more expensive than the wired varieties, it is usually much more versatile and can be installed without damaging existing walls.

Monitor the System Yourself

Once the alarm is tripped and the system calls the homeowner, the owner can listen to the noise going on in the house and determine if the police should be called or not. This system can also be used for the homeowner's personal safety as well, enabling that person to turn lights on and off, dim or brighten them, all at the touch of a remote control button so that you never have to enter your house while it is still darkened again. You can also choose which lights will be turned on, thereby saving on the cost of electricity.


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Dummy Alarm Boxes

Dummy alarm boxes are a good deterrent. THey give the burglar a risk of knowing whether it's real or fake. They don't cost much and work very well. Note that they are fake, and therefore do not set off any alarms. With a wireless alarm system, they should hep.

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Why NOT to use dummy cameras

Dummy cameras simply imply that you have valuables indoors which are worth a burglars hassle to get inside your house.
Dummy alarm boxes do too don't they? Well not as much, and a burglar knows that motion sensors etc. are connected to the interior of the house, thus making it not worth the risk.

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Spy cameras

As well as indoor Internet connected CCTV cameras. I'd suggest also spy versions. Place these in the same room(s) as your Internet connected cameras, and make sure they're secretly placed. If a burglar disables or breaks the main camera, you have a back up one running to catch them.

Fake smoke alarms are good, but there are others, if you speak to spy CCTV specialists.


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Alarms

Alarm systems are a worthwhile investment in the protection of your home and family. Studies reveal that it is far less likely that you will become the victim of a burglary at home if you have a correctly fitted and well maintained burglar alarm. However, they should be regarded only as one element within a complete security package.

The variety of alarms and their fitting is a complex subject. As a starting point the installation should meet with British Standard 4737/BS EN 50131. This type of installation refers to hard-wired systems as opposed to wire-free. Though more expensive than many wire-free or DIY packages on the market, they are more reliable and conform to the Association of Chief Police Officers Intruder Alarm Policy. The only wire free system which conforms both to British Standards and the ACPO Intruder Alarm Policy is a BS 6799 Class VI alarm. This type is typically more expensive than its hard-wired counterpart. Be aware that systems that claim to meet with British Standards, but don't specify BS 4737/BS EN 50131 or 6799, may well be referring to the electrical standard and not that of the alarm system.

If you are thinking about the installation of an alarm system in your home it is worth taking into account that the police response to alarm activations varies according to the type of alarm installed. In recent years the percentage of false alarm calls caused by either equipment, communication or user error represented in excess of 92% of all alarm activations nationally. In order to redress the balance in favour of genuine calls, the ACPO Unified Intruder Alarm Policy has been adopted by the police, in which two types of alarms are defined, together with the relevant police response.

Type A - Remote Signalling Alarms, including intruder alarms terminating at approved central monitoring stations. They must be maintained and used in accordance with British Standard 4737/BS EN 50131, BS 7042 (high security systems) or BS 6799 Class VI (wire-free alarms). Such alarms will be registered with the police and identified by a unique reference number (URN) and can include personal attack alarms. The police response to their activation will be based on the assumption that an offence is taking place, but against the background of competing urgent calls and available resources. Such a response will also be conditional upon the number of false activations in any 12 month period, in which case the activation may receive a lower priority police attendance.

Type B - Audible Only and Hybrid Alarms, including bells-only and automatic dialling alarms, as well as alarms from non-compliant companies and non-compliant central stations. URNs will not be issued for these systems. To obtain police attendance, in addition to their activation Type B alarms will also require some indication that an offence is in progress, e.g. from a witness.

In identifying a compliant company installing Type A alarms you should seek answers to the following questions:

-Before disclosing personal security details, have I checked the address and credentials of the company and seen proof of identity from the representative?

-Is the company subject of an independent inspection process and if so which organisation?

-Is the installation of an alarm a requirement of my insurance company and if so, is the company acceptable to my insurer?

-Can the company representative provide me with a list of police rules for occupiers of premises with alarms and written confirmation that the alarm and the company are currently acceptable to the local police for the transmission of alarm messages from new installations.

-Have I sought written quotations from at least two alarm installers?

Does the quotation:

-specify that the installation will be to British Standard 4737/ BS EN 50131or BS 7042 (high security systems), or, if it is a wire free alarm, BS 6799 Class 6, as amended by BS DD 244?

-include the terms of maintenance and monitoring contracts?

-Does the company operate a 24 hour call-out service and emergency attendance within four hours?

Police accept the installation of remote signalling alarms from alarm companies whose business is subject to inspection by independent inspectorate organisations identified in police policy. Currently these are:

-National Approval Council for Security Systems

-Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board


All of these organisations publish lists of relevant companies.

All alarm systems should have two keyholders, trained to operate the alarm, able to attend activation within 20 minutes, contactable by telephone and with their own transport.

If you are contemplating having an alarm installed and need additional advice, contact your local Crime Prevention Officer who will be happy to offer you further guidance. You may find that the cost of fitting an alarm system is lower than you originally anticipated. If several houses in a street or Neighbourhood Watch are considering installing alarm systems, it is possible that an installer may give a discount for multiple installations. What is more, it is possible that the cost of an installation could be partly offset by reduced household insurance premiums. You should be aware, however, that the insurer may stipulate that the alarm should be set at all times when the property is unoccupied, and that any claim for losses incurred as a result of a break-in while alarm was not set may be adjusted accordingly.

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CCTV

CCTV systems are an important weapon to fight against crime. CCTV can be used to protect your business or your home against robbery and theft.

If you use CCTV to protect your home or business premises you should always maintain your system.
Digital CCTV

When using a digital CCTV system make sure you know how to view and download the footage as this may be important for future evidence and identification purposes. Please consider the following:

-Do you know how long the images are stored for?

-If you want to identify an offender can you see the face clearly, does it need to be focused in more or positioned better?

-Make sure any CCTV system does not overlook neighbours or the public.

-Is the lens on the camera clean?

-Is anything in the way obstructing the lens?

CCTV tapes

If using CCTV tapes there are a few simple steps you can follow to ensure that CCTV is in good working order:

-Change tapes daily.

-Use them no more than 12 times.

-Keep tapes for at least a month

-Use good quality tapes and check them by playing them on a different machine.

-Check that the time and date displays are correct.

Please contact your local crime prevention officer or Safer Neighbourhoods team for crime prevention advice.

Posted: Jul 15, 2012 at 9:01 Quote
I was burgled in feb, the best advice I can give by spending a bit on security you can make your house that bit more unattractive than next doors...

Personally I bought myself a steel 15 point door (usually used as a gun safe) and coupled it with a Xenta wireless CCTV (uploads straight to the net and emails me when it detects something during hours I choose)

Posted: Jul 15, 2012 at 9:03 Quote
How much did the door cost?

Posted: Jul 15, 2012 at 9:09 Quote
Door was 249.99 + VAT, then I had to find a fitter.... Total cost was ~£500

This is it http://www.ajsteeldoors.co.uk/Menu-item-for-category-listing-module-70/product/show/cid-102/name-12-point-locking-high-security-steel-front-door-set-heavy-duty/Itemid-52/category_pathway-0

Very happy with it only problem I've got with it is the warranty isn't as long as PVC doors

Posted: Jul 15, 2012 at 9:13 Quote
That's very good (apart from warranty) it looks subtle like a normal door. If it screamed 'security door' my opinion would've differed.

Posted: Jul 22, 2012 at 3:28 Quote
Get renters insurance it's pretty cheap for an apartment it's about $100 annually.

Posted: Jul 22, 2012 at 5:18 Quote
Good idea. Most people use house insurance too.

Posted: Jun 7, 2013 at 20:58 Quote
I work in Corrections (jails/prisons) Per the criminals themselves, a barking dog is the best deterrent unless they believe there are guns, drugs or cash on the property.

Posted: Jun 8, 2014 at 6:27 Quote
stolenbikes88 wrote:
I was burgled in feb, the best advice I can give by spending a bit on security you can make your house that bit more unattractive than next doors...

Personally I bought myself a steel 15 point door (usually used as a gun safe) and coupled it with a Xenta wireless CCTV (uploads straight to the net and emails me when it detects something during hours I choose)

Im not pulling you leg here ... get a large female rescue cat ! ... treat it well and you will have the best defence you could ever imagine. I got myself one just for company, its now 14 yo been with me since it was 2 yo ... 8 year ago my home was broken into they was after my then top of the range £1500 gaming computer on their first attempt when I returned home I was met with a skinny late teen male cowering under the dinning room table with deep lacerations to his face and hands and my cat growling profusely with puffed up fur and claws out ... guarding him from moving lol I phone police and he got picked up ... the police that attended were stunned !

3 week later another attempt was made by a different guy mid 20's ... this one brought leather garden gauntlets ' but should of wore a mask ... same again cowering under the dinning table ... deep lacerations to his face ... but that time I had placed an infa red camera in the hall and caught the most amazing clip ever , my clever cat climbed up the inside of the coats in the hall and jumped out from the top and attached herself to his face and tore it to shred's before he had chance to think ... again the intruder was handed over to the police ... no one had been back since
the cats name ... cocopop as in the cereal ... Ha'ha'ha'ha the embarrassed look each had when each attended court
was priceless ... and there scars are permanent a constant reminder never mess with a rescue cat that loves it home and owner Evil

Posted: Jun 8, 2014 at 6:31 Quote
I'd rather have a rottweiler or German Shepard to be honest.

Posted: Jun 8, 2014 at 6:41 Quote
kinny-pb wrote:
I'd rather have a rottweiler or German Shepard to be honest.

normally I would of chose a German Shepard but I live in a 1 bed upstairs maisonette flat hence the cat for company.
my home is to small for a large dog .. and it would be cruel of me to ignore that fact

Posted: Jun 27, 2014 at 10:15 Quote
A lot of small dogs are good barkers if someone is trying to get in the property. I had a daschund that was really good at telling is someone was at the door and would bark his head off.. My golden retreiver on the other hand....that dog was not a good watch dog at all.

Posted: Aug 12, 2014 at 4:14 Quote
A dog could kill a man, and therefore have to be put down if it's deemed violent (which is often the case when acting in defence of its owner) Cats know what they can get away with, and I've never heard of cats being put down for being violent in defense.

Posted: Aug 12, 2014 at 4:29 Quote
My cats would just rub themselves all over any intruders... far too friendly for their own good.

Posted: Sep 1, 2015 at 16:33 Quote
Insaine-dude wrote:
stolenbikes88 wrote:
I was burgled in feb, the best advice I can give by spending a bit on security you can make your house that bit more unattractive than next doors...

Personally I bought myself a steel 15 point door (usually used as a gun safe) and coupled it with a Xenta wireless CCTV (uploads straight to the net and emails me when it detects something during hours I choose)

Im not pulling you leg here ... get a large female rescue cat ! ... treat it well and you will have the best defence you could ever imagine. I got myself one just for company, its now 14 yo been with me since it was 2 yo ... 8 year ago my home was broken into they was after my then top of the range £1500 gaming computer on their first attempt when I returned home I was met with a skinny late teen male cowering under the dinning room table with deep lacerations to his face and hands and my cat growling profusely with puffed up fur and claws out ... guarding him from moving lol I phone police and he got picked up ... the police that attended were stunned !

3 week later another attempt was made by a different guy mid 20's ... this one brought leather garden gauntlets ' but should of wore a mask ... same again cowering under the dinning table ... deep lacerations to his face ... but that time I had placed an infa red camera in the hall and caught the most amazing clip ever , my clever cat climbed up the inside of the coats in the hall and jumped out from the top and attached herself to his face and tore it to shred's before he had chance to think ... again the intruder was handed over to the police ... no one had been back since
the cats name ... cocopop as in the cereal ... Ha'ha'ha'ha the embarrassed look each had when each attended court
was priceless ... and there scars are permanent a constant reminder never mess with a rescue cat that loves it home and owner Evil

I wanna see the video footage of your cat owning the punk.

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