Keeping your home secure for winter

As the nights are getting darker earlier, Police Scotland has some tips to make sure your property and home are secure.

home security

Although having your home broken into is something many people fear, it is not a common occurrence. There are however, many ways that you can help secure your home from intruders. They don’t all cost money – some are purely down to common sense and good housekeeping.

Thieves often look to take advantage of open or unlocked doors and windows to steal from houses, garages, sheds and other outbuildings.

It’s also worth noting that leaving car keys within arm’s reach of the front door, gives thieves easy access to your car.

What basic steps can I take to protect my home?

First, think about basic good housekeeping routines that aren’t expensive.

  • Many thieves are actually opportunists who do not have to break in at all because a door or window has been left open or unlocked. Keep your home securely locked at all times.
  • Don’t leave keys on the inside of door locks, under mats or anywhere else an intruder may easily find them.
  • Don't put your name or room number on your keyring if you live in shared accommodation. If it is lost or stolen, the thief will have information that could direct them to your home and your property.
  • Don’t keep house keys and car keys on the same key ring.
  • Avoid keeping large amounts of cash in the house. If you must then disperse it in various locations.
  • Security mark your property with a UV marker pen. You can use this pen to place an invisible imprint of your postcode and house number on your possessions.
  • Record details of your valuables, such as mobile phone, cameras, laptops and tablets on the national mobile property register at www.immobilise.com.
  • Don’t leave valuables in sight of windows, particularly around the tree at Christmas time.
  • If you have a wall calendar, avoid mounting it near a window from where appointments can potentially be seen – this may give an indication of when a property will be empty.

Chief Superintendent Mark Williams, Divisional Commander for Edinburgh said: "Tackling housebreaking remains our top priority and in the past few months we have seen reports of domestic housebreaking fall across the city.

"However, with winter almost here, and darker evenings creeping in, it is important homeowners continue to take suitable steps to keep their properties safe.

"Please remember to keep windows and doors appropriately secured at all times. Treat garages, sheds and other outbuildings as extensions of your homes and make sure these cannot be easily accessed by anyone.

"With Christmas just around the corner, many of us will have lots of expensive gifts within our homes or on display under our Christmas trees. If you are not within your property then keep it locked and consider closing blinds or curtains so as not to advertise the various items that may make your house an attractive target.

"The public can get lots of useful information and advice on crime prevention at our website www.scotland.police.uk. Police Scotland can also provide you with a free security survey, where you can obtain simple and effective advice on securing your home."