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Do not leave an open invitation to thieves to steal from you even when you are at home. By simply closing and securing all doors and windows you will deter most criminals.
If they see that your doors and windows are secure, they will think twice about breaking in as they prefer easy pickings.
Before retiring each night, windows and doors should be checked to ensure they are locked.
Doors and Locks
Front and back doors should be solid. Door frames and hinges should be strong and in good condition. Mortise locks and bolts will add to the security. Deadlocks can prevent a burglar from opening a door from the outside and help prevent a door from being forced open.
A solid wooden door may be more secure than a glass door. Nevertheless, a door viewer would be essential on a solid door so you can identify people who are calling before you open the door.
Patio doors should be made secure by fitting locks at the top and bottom. Other measures can also be taken to secure doors, such as using galvanized steel bracing. Extra security measures such as intruder alarms or outdoor lighting are also useful.
In general, the perimeter of your house should be kept neat and tidy. Worn fences should be replaced and bushes should be trimmed back so that thieves do not have a hiding place. Garages and sheds should be kept locked. Ladders and tools should be locked in a garage or shed to prevent burglars from using these to gain entry.
When you are leaving your home:
- Make sure that all doors and windows are shut and locked
- Lock garden tools away
- Lock garage door and windows
- Keep the keys in a safe place and not under the mat, in the letter box or in a flower pot
- Leave on a light if you are leaving for a time at night
- Cancel deliveries (of milk, for example) if you are away for some time
- Ask a friend to keep an eye of the house if possible
- If going away for a long period it may be useful to leave on a lamp attached to a timer switch which can come on at various times throughout the night
Securing your Belongings
Under no circumstances whatsoever should you leave valuable belongings lying around the house in full view as it may entice thieves to break into your home.
Car keys should be kept in a safe place and not hanging in view of the door. Even expensive tools should be locked away at all times.
Anything of value should be marked permanently with special security marker pens. It will make it more difficult for the thief to pass on stolen goods if you have marked the property with your postcode and house number.
It is also wise to take out house contents insurance cover for valuable items and many companies will offer special deals for the over 60s.
Money should not be kept hidden in your home but should be deposited in a bank or building society account.
The NI Direct website offers a wealth of information for support and safety in your home, including invaluable information on gas and carbon monoxide safety. Please visit for your own benefit.