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ASK THE EXPERT Safety first


Doug Skins, former police officer and now with the national police crime prevention initiative Secured by Design (SBD), answers self-builders’ queries on how to make your home more secure


for ‘natural vision’ over them while not providing cover for someone hiding. However, at the rear and sides of a property, taller fencing is recommended in order to prevent easy access. Adding light trellises, thorny plants or a suitable anti-climb topping will make it difficult for anyone trying to climb over. Ensure your boundary fences are in good condition. Planting along boundaries and fence lines acts as a powerful natural barrier to anyone trying to enter. Gravel driveways and paths are ideal at preventing a silent approach, as they will alert you to someone approaching the house.


CCTV can also alert you to someone getting inside your boundary if it is monitored, e.g. by being linked to a smartphone. ‘Smart doorbells’, such as Ring, alert you to callers to your property. A number of Secured by Design member companies supply the most recent technological innovations in this area.


DO YOU RECOMMEND USING OUTSIDE LIGHTING?


Thieves do not like to be seen, so an outdoor light operated by sensors will make intruders feel vulnerable and observed. Consider dusk to dawn lighting which illuminates areas such as the front, side and rear of your home as an option too.


WHAT SECURITY MEASURES SHOULD I TAKE AROUND OUTBUILDINGS?


S


BD has been a staunch campaigner for improved security in buildings and homes for nearly 30 years. The


organisation works closely with UK police forces and a wide range of other organisations, including national and Local Government, the Fire Service, British and European Standards authorities, the construction industry, trade associations and manufacturers to achieve sustainable reductions in crime through design and other approaches to


enable people to live in a safer society.


WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS TO MAKING MY HOME MORE SECURE? Physical and visible deterrents give a criminal the first indication that the owner of the property has an awareness around security, and as a result the


10 www.sbhonline.co.uk


criminal will often move on elsewhere and look for somewhere easier to break in to.


SO WHAT IS THE BEST WAY OF LOOKING AT MY SECURITY TO SEE


IF IT NEEDS IMPROVING? We recommend looking at your home security through what is called the “onion peeling principle,” starting with the boundaries and working inwards towards the centre, considering the security of sheds, outbuildings, garages and the house and its contents.


HOW DO I GO ABOUT PROTECTING


THE BOUNDARY OF MY PROPERTY? Lower fences at the front of a property are better than high fences, as they allow


People often pay less attention to garages, sheds and other outbuildings where they often store expensive equipment. However, these are vulnerable as they are generally not very secure and also contain tools with which the burglar can use to assist them to gain entry into a home. You should ensure that all external outbuilding doors are of solid construction with suitable locks or a close shackle padlock and bar fitted. Consider fitting non-returnable screws or coach bolts to the hinges. Locks should be fitted to all windows.


Garage doors can be vulnerable and you can make them more secure by installing additional security, such as padlocks, to provide multiple locking points or using floor-mounted locking T- bars. If you have a door connecting the garage to the house, make sure this has the same level of security as your front door. Fit locks that meet BS 3621 and a


november/december 2018


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