Home security

Content owner : housing@knh.org.uk Last updated : 05/03/11

The police do their best to tackle crime in our neighbourhoods and KNH also carries out a number of schemes schemes to reduce crime. But there are also some simple steps that you can take to stop yourself from becoming a victim of crime.

Do not tempt the thiefs

Do not leave valuables or handbags in plain sight. Put them away. However, think about what you could put on window sills to deter burglars. They hate venetian blinds and ornaments that waste their time. Think about using these in appropriate locations including kitchens and bathrooms. These will delay entry and increase the chances of being spotted or caught.

Make sure any valuables are marked. Imagine the difficulty in trying to sell a watch with your name engraved on it if you cannot prove who you are to the dealer. In the same way post-coding and indelibly marking valuables makes it easier to trace them if they are stolen. So too does photographing your valuables. You can show the police what it looks like and your insurance company too if you become a victim or lose them! Signage stating ‘Post Coded’ or’ ‘Marked Property’ will help reduce risk.

Never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked

Often full of expensive tools, these can be ideal for breaking into the rest of the house.

Look in, when you are out

Most burglaries happen when a house or flat is empty. Leave a light on inside the house (choose well-used rooms such as the lounge or bedroom - not a hallway or other largely unused area). Occupied houses will normally have more than one light on so if possible, leave a light on in a second room.

Low energy table lamps on a timer in different points around a home coming on and going off at intervals may give the impression of activity behind closed curtains of whilst out. Similarly a radio coming off and on will have the same effect.

Timer switches are an excellent way of triggering one or more lights. As daylight hours grow shorter, reset the timer to activate earlier. In the middle of winter a house with someone at home will often have lights on in the early afternoon and the timer needs to be set accordingly. If you have outside lights, put them on at night.

Door and window security

Easily visible locks may deter some thieves as they force the thief to break the glass and risk attracting attention.

Spare keys should never be left in a convenient hiding place such as under the door mat or in a flowerpot - a thief will look there first. In nearly half of burglaries the criminal gets through an open door or window. A third of burglaries occur through a rear window. An open window or door is an invitation to criminals.

Keep them closed and locked especially when you are not in that room. Always keep your door locked, even if you are in the house. This will stop anyone walking into your house and helping themselves to your things.

Do not leave house keys in the back of your door, even if the door is locked. The latest types of KNH doors are remarkably strong and will keep out the vast majority of intruders. So householders must not leave the keys in door locks because they will provide an escape route for burglars who break and enter via windows.

Do not leave house keys and car keys on worktops etc as they can be found, taken and used by criminal. Put them somewhere safe.

Take your keys and handbag or wallet with you when you go to bed at night. This will keep them safe and will also mean you’ve got them handy in case of a fire or other emergency. If you have a door chain, put it on.If you have a communal security door, make sure it’s kept closed and locked.

Bogus callers

It is a sad fact of life that some criminals will impersonate others to carry out despicable crimes, preying on vulnerable people throughout the community.

Unfortunately this type of crime does occur with bogus callers varying in appearance and using a number of excuses to try and trick their way into people’s homes.

The aim of the bogus caller is to try and talk their way into your home, after all if they can walk through your front door after receiving an invite from you, why should they go to all the trouble of having to break into your property.

  • Before you open the door check to see who it is by looking through your front window or by using a door viewer if you have one.
  • Only open the door when you have put the chain on.
  • Get a good look at their clothing, some official callers will have a uniform bearing their company or organisation logo. KNH or repairs contractors will always have an ID badge.
  • Utility services may operate a password system, contact your local branch to find out more.
  • Suggest that the caller should come back later, you can then check their story by telephoning the organisation or company they claim to represent.
  • Check any phone number they give you in your own telephone directory. Do not rely on the number on their card; it may be the number of their partner in crime.
  • Always lock the back door before opening the front or vice versa. Bogus callers sometimes work in pairs, one caller could be distracting you at the front and the other sneaking in at the back.
  • Let the police and your neighbours know if you have had a suspicious caller at the door.
  • Locks and chains are only a deterrent if they are used!
  • Emergency situations can arise. Do not leave the door chain on all of the time as this may cause a delay. Only put the chain on before answering the door.
  • Remember if in doubt keep them out.
  • Bogus callers in all shapes and sizes, including children, are at work. Please do not let them trick you into letting them in. If you do not have a door chain or viewer consider having one fitted, they cost very little.
  • Be watchful. If you see someone acting suspiciously then ring the police and make a note of what they look like and wearing. Better to be safe than sorry.

By following these simple rules, you can help your local Police combat crime and make it harder for criminals to steal your things.

Help if your home is burgled

As part of our Community Safety Strategy, we work with West Yorkshire Police to help cut down burglaries. If you are a council tenant whose home has been burgled, the crime prevention officer may decide that extra security is needed. We will aim to fit any extra security recommended as soon as possible to reduce the chances of you suffering a second burglary. However, as funding for this kind of work is limited, we may not always be able to carry out the work recommended.

If you have internet access (available free at all Kirklees libraries), you can check how safe your home is by doing a simple three-minute test. Or you can call the police’s crime reduction officers to request a home security survey: 01924 431048 (North Kirklees) or 01484 436839 (South Kirklees).

You may also find it useful to talk to your neighbours about setting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your area.