Restoring your Home Security after a break in

Being burgled is a traumatising experience that can leave and your family feeling unsafe in your own home. As expert Locksmiths we have created our top tips on how you can restore your home security to help you and your family feel safe.

 

What to do immediately following a break in

Signs that someone has gained entry to your home are easy to spot; forced opened doors and windows, broken glass, and valuables scattered across the floor. Your first instinct may be to investigate and clean up, but we strongly advise against this, first things first, you need to call the police.

 

Contact the police

We suggest going to a safe spot, like your car or a neighbour’s house*, and contacting the police to report a break in. If it is not an emergency, for example if your life is not in danger, then we suggest calling the police on 101 and not 999. However if you are concerned that there might be people still in your home then we suggest calling 999 for emergency services.

 

Take account of your missing items

When the police arrive, they will take evidence and statements, ask if anyone saw anything and what items you think might be missing. They then will compile a report and give you a case number; you may want to jot down this number as it can be needed for insurance claims etc and will help you to keep track of your case.

 

Take pictures

Take pictures of your house, any broken windows or doors and any valuable items. This will help later down the line as more evidence you can supply, the more your case is strengthened.

 

Call a Locksmith

Once the police have given you the all clear, it is time to call a Locksmith. Professional Locksmiths are experts in replacing and repairing broken locks and to some extent doors and windows, however if it is a job beyond repair then a Locksmith can secure your property for you by boarding up and securing any broken doors and windows until you can have them replaced.

When you call out a Locksmith, we always suggest consulting with them to find out what are the best security locks for your home and what benefits they hold. Not all locks are created equal, so having a higher security lock installed will help you to regain some feeling of safety. Also ask them about their suggestions of home security and what they think can be done to your property to minimise the risk of the incident reoccurring.

To find out more about Emergency Boarding Up and Burglary Repairs.

 

What to do within 24 hours of a break in

Unfortunately, when a break in happens some of the after events have time limits on and although a traumatic experience there are a few things you must do as soon as possible.

 

Make a list

The police would have asked you about any large ticket items in your home when they came to the scene, but it is always best to try and create a list of all the items stolen. This could be valuable pieces of jewellery, large electronic items or personal effects like credit cards or passports.

When creating the list, try to find any receipts that can prove when you bought the item and how much, and take note of how long you have had the item and it’s estimated worth.

 

Call your insurance

Your insurance provider will usually have a process that you need to follow to make a claim, whether it is home or contents. As said before, the more evidence you have, the stronger your case and the more likely to be accurately compensated. Some insurance policies have time limits on when you need to make first contact to make a claim so as soon as possible is always the best policy, even if you just notify them.

For damage to your home, such as broken windows and doors, they might send someone out to access the damage but anything you have had to do to secure your home like boarding up or repairs can often be claimed back assuming you have an accurate invoice and can provide evidence of the damage beforehand.

 

Call your bank

Although you may not always know what has been stolen, it is always best to contact your bank and make them aware you have been victim to a burglary and to flag any suspicious activity on your account.

 

Contact credit reporting agencies

Ask for a security alert that will create a red flag for any lenders. This means that should a burglar gotten access to your private information, it will prevent them from opening credit cards and loans in your name.

 

Securing your home to prevent further break ins

Protecting your home from further crime is the most important step it helps to give you some peace of mind that your home is secured. Burglars are known to revisit the scene of the crime, because their logic is if they can get in once they can do it again. Hence, we highly suggest that you take some pre-emptive steps to ensure that you are not a target.

 

Install better locks

Like explained before, no lock is made equal, there are some locks that have better security features and burglar deterrents that can help to deter those targeting your house making it more difficult for them to enter your home. Updating the security on your home doesn’t only make you feel better, but also puts out a signal to burglars that you’ve taken steps to make yourself a harder target and therefore are a higher risk to try and break into.

 

Install motion activated lights

Dark spots around your home and garden are perfect places for someone to hide, so reduce that risk by placing motion sensor lights around the exterior of your home to illuminate entry points. This increases the risk that someone burgled will been seen or get caught thus making you a less attractive target.

 

Look into getting a security system

Items such as security cameras and burglar alarms are not only great systems to give the confidence that your home is safe but also are great visual deterrents to put off would be burglars. At the end of the day making yourself a less appealing target to ill wishers is the best way to prevent crime and keep your home secure.

 

If you would like to find out more about our security suggests, head to our Home Security Guide where you can find all the answers to your security questions and the best security tips from expert Locksmiths.

 

*Depending on government restrictions

How to Baby-Proof your Home!

Bringing home a newborn baby is an exciting time and you want to make sure that your home is safe to receive your new bundle of joy. The best way to make sure your home is safe is to baby proof your home; ideally well in advance of your due date.

Whether a newborn or a toddler, there are some steps you might need to take to make your home the safest it can be. However, keep in mind that these suggestions are by no means exhaustive and you should always do your research and consult professionals to any extra precautions you should make.

 

General baby-proofing tips

 

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your house if you have oil and/or gas appliances, alongside smoke detectors on every level. Check out our carbon monoxide guide here! 
  • Ensure your smoke detectors are in good working order, there should be at least one on each floor. Find out smoke detector guide here!
  • Check the batteries of all detectors.
  • Have either a fire blanket and/or fire extinguisher, and know how to use it.
  • Keep a first aid kit
  • Keep a note of all the emergency numbers
  • Put non-slip pads under all the rugs

 

Baby-Proofing the Kitchen

In the kitchen there are many every items that can be dangerous to your little ones, most are obvious but there are those that we don’t think about.

kitchen graphic

Unplug any electrical appliances not in use such as irons, kettles and grills etc.

Not only does it help save on energy wastage, but it ensures that when not in use they are not conducting heat which could potentially harm you child if they touch it.

 

Store your handbag, and those of any visitors, out of reach.

Something as simple as a pen cap could be very dangerous if swallowed, and you never know what could have been left in your bag or that of your visitor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. By tucking any bags at the back of the kitchen counter or in a cupboard, it helps to reduce the risk of little hands grabbing something potentially dangerous.

 

Lock sharp objects, toxic substances and chemicals away in secure cupboards.

You don’t have to go all out and place child locks on every draw and cupboard but storing the items that are dangerous to everyone away in secured cupboards is always a smart thing to do. Once your baby starts to crawl and when toddlers become more curious they won’t understand that something may be harmful. To help eliminate the threat you can lock them in with child proof locks, securing them away from your children.

 

Consider getting rid of tablecloths and hanging objects within reach.

Tablecloths and cords can be pulled and tugged on, which doesn’t sound dangerous but can pose a real threat. If the dining table was set with crockery; plates, knives and forks and glasses with a child tugging on the tablecloth, it could mean that the whole spread could come crashing down on that child.

 

Baby-Proofing the Lounge

vector graphic of a lounge highlighting baby proof ideas

1. Secure all loose furniture by placing it behind larger pieces of furniture

2. Cover all unused plug sockets with protectors

3. Cover sharp corners with bumpers or safety padding; if its hit it will still hurt but will cause less damage.

4. Hide any cords or wires behind casing or furniture.

5. Ensure that any blinds have safety tassels and cord stops to tuck away the cords; also consider getting rid of any with looped cords.

 

Baby-Proofing the Nursery

nursery graphic

  • Place baby wipes and supplies where you can reach them but the baby can’t.
  • Remove cot mobiles with long cords; to avoid the baby from grabbing at them.
  • Keep the cot apart from any other furniture, including shelves or objects that could fall on your baby
  • Finish all painting/wallpapering at least 8 weeks before your due date to air out any potentially harmful fumes
  • Ensure that the cot slats are more than two and 3/8 inches apart with the bolts and screws tightly fastened.
  • Ensure there are no gaps between the mattress and cot.
  • Keep bumpers, blankets, comforters, pillows and toys out of the cot when the baby is in there.
  • Ensure that all furniture is built correctly and in line with instructions and safety measures.

 

Keytek® Locksmiths

There are many more things you can do to secure your home before the baby arrives and you’ll probably need to re-assess when your baby starts maneuvering around. If you liked our blog on baby-proofing your home why not check out How an App can save your Life and Protect your Home like a Palace: Buckingham Palace!