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FAQs

  Frequently Asked Questions

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Q. What would you advise me to do if a burglar entered my home in the middle of the night?


A. To encounter a burglar whilst you are inside your home is a rare event - however if this were to occur the best option would be to have a lock on your bedroom door and to keep a mobile phone near to where you sleep, as this would give you an opportunity to call 999 for help. Some burglar alarm systems can be armed to cover a particular part of the house and use sensors that can respond to movement giving you warning that something is wrong.

Q. In the summer I like to leave my windows open for fresh air and ventilation but I don’t want to put my home and property at risk. What do you suggest I can do?


A. Many burglars are opportunists and like open windows especially ground floor windows as it makes it easy for them to enter your home and commit crime. It's important you always check your home security by closing and locking doors and windows if you leave your home for any period of time as many insurance companies will not cover you if windows have not been secured when your home is left unattended.
If you are home and require ventilation we would suggest that you have in built opening restrictors that allow them to be partially opened without allowing access. If you have an older house with period windows they may not have this facility but you can make them more resistant to entry. Anyone with basic DIY skills can fit sash stops on to sash windows these stops restrict the opening and allow some air in. Security fittings can also be bolted on to other types of windows and several manufacturers make opening restrictors, which will do the same thing.


If you are considering new windows many manufacturers now do a wide range of security rated products in a variety of materials such as UPVC, aluminium and sustainable wood. Windows should be security rated to British Standard BS PAS 24 (2012).

Q. If we are going on holiday and we are leaving our home for a weekend or an extended period of time what can we do to reduce our risk?


A. It's always a good idea whenever you leave your home for any period to do a security check of the house  to make sure that everything is locked securely before you leave. If you intend to leave for an extended period of time the best thing you can do is to have a trusted friend or neighbour look after your home whilst you are away to pick up the mail and check on your security. Automatic lights that come on at different times are a good deterrent. It is also a good idea to lock away any valuables into a home safe that is hidden from view. The best safes have bolts that you can attach to the house in a concealed area. We recommend that you place into the safe identity documents such as passports, a copy of your home insurance policy and other valuables such as bank and credit cards and jewellery. Remember to keep the key to the safe locked away elsewhere. It's also important not to advertise on social media such as Facebook or Twitter that you are about to go away on holiday. You may also want to consider installing a burglar alarm system.

Q. How much of a deterrent is having an alarm in the first place? And do burglars really know whether the boxes are genuine or dummy ones?


A. Alarms are no substitute for good basic security like having secure doors and windows so always upgrade these areas first. Alarms basically come in two types a monitored and unmonitored system. A monitored system if activated can be assessed by trained staff in a call centre and they will alert the police to attend the address and contact any key holders. An unmonitored system is a cheaper option but can often activate giving a false alarm and the siren will rely on your neighbours or residents to call for police. We suggest you use an alarm from a recognised company, this offers a guarantee that they have reached the accepted security and business standards. There are a number of systems available so do your research before you buy. Experienced burglars can often recognise a fake alarm box which of course will not offer protection to your residence.

Q. I wanted to know: do you have a view on toughened glass in vulnerable windows? What happens if you need to smash the glass from the inside if there was a fire?

A. Clearly a lot will depend on how vulnerable you feel the location is. This will tend to be influenced by the area, and the building itself. By making a window more 'resistant to attack', you will delay a thief getting in as they will want to get in and out as fast as possible to avoid detection. They will be worried about making noise and injuring themselves.  There are a number of window types to consider from laminated glazing to toughened glass. When it comes to fire safety our advice would be to think about how you would get out of your house and always have an alternative route available in the event of an emergency. The London Fire service have officers that can give expert advice regarding smoke detectors and fire safety.


 Q. I need a new door what do you suggest? 


A. If you are replacing a door the best advice would be to replace the whole door set including the frame, hinges etc. We recommend that this door is an enhanced security door certified to British Standard PAS 24-1 these are independently tested to ensure you are getting a suitable product and that it is resistant to attack. To choose a suitable manufacturer talk to a reputable locksmith who is a member of the master locksmiths association or look on the Secured by Design website www.securedbydesign.com