If you’ve ever locked yourself out you’ll know whether you can break into your own home, and if so you will probably have taken steps to prevent the same thing happening again, especially if that escapade resulted in a costly emergency locksmith call out. Perhaps you’ve hidden a key somewhere outside, like under the doormat or a plant pot? Perhaps you’ve hidden a key in a more secure place, like a key safe that is concealed from view, or you’ve given a spare key to a neighbour, who can let you in if you get locked out. The latter two are much better options than hiding a key in the clichéd places – this is where a burglar will look first.
Knowing where a burglar will look first is only the start of it. To see whether your home is vulnerable or not, you need to do a little role play (or ask a friend to do it for you, as they’re less likely to know where the spare key is) and pretend to be a burglar. If you really want to get into the spirit of it you can even don a mask and a stripy top, but it’s a good idea to have some ID on you (including your address), so you can prove who you are if challenged, or if a “helpful” neighbour calls the police. If you’re finding it hard to get into the burglar mind-set, imagine you’ve locked yourself out and left the gas on to give you a sense of urgency.
Here’s a list of the key points to check:
• Are any of the downstairs windows or doors insecure? Have they been left open?
• Are any windows open upstairs? How could you reach those using what’s around you?
• Is there an unlocked shed with a ladder or heavy items inside you could use to smash a window?
• Is there sufficient cover to hide from nosey neighbours or passers-by?
• Are any of the entry points well covered and private enough to smash a window without attracting attention?
• Is there an alarm system which might go off if you enter the property?
• Can you see items worth stealing that can be easily sold on?
• Do security lights come on when you move around the property?
• Is there anywhere a spare key might be kept?
• Is there anything worth stealing in the garden or in the shed?
• Can you reach keys from the hallway table through the letterbox?
• Can you unlock the door by going in through the letterbox?
It’s a good idea to have some strong wire, like a coat hanger, and a screwdriver on you while you carry out this role play. A burglar will usually be equipped with some tools to help them gain access, so you need to take this into account and be prepared to gain access by any means.
When you identify a weakness in your home security there’s no need to actually break a window, or damage the mechanism by trying to pry it open. The idea behind this exercise is to shine a light on any potential weak spots and access points a burglar could use, but you don’t need to all the way. The exception is whether you can get keys off a table or open the door through the letterbox. This won’t cause any damage and will show you just how easy it might be for a burglar to make off with your car, or to let themselves in.
When you know what needs addressing P&R Alarms are here to provide you with the best security system you can get.