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Toolkit Module 11 Security of buildings and property

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									          Toolkit



Module 11: Security of buildings and
property

 This module will help you and your group to understand and
 improve security in the home.
 By applying common sense and some basic knowledge, this module
 will help you to have an impact on crime and on fear of crime.
 By the end of this module you will be able to:
 • understand the need for a basic property security survey;
 • anticipate potential risks;
 • discover strengths and weaknesses in the security of your
   building(s);
 • identify priorities for action; and
 • have confidence that you and your Neighbourhood Watch group can
   help your community.

 You can apply the same principles to your place of work and to
 your home.


Introduction
For most people the risk of being a victim of crime is low.
However, the risk is higher in certain areas and places. Knowledge
of your neighbourhood and the types of crimes committed in the
area can help to reduce the risks. Information on crime will be
available from your local police contact or Crime and Disorder
Reduction Partnership (CDRP). Please see Module 9 and Module 15
for more detailed information.
             Module 11: Security of buildings and property



            Remember
            Break-ins are often the work of opportunists. Reducing
            their opportunities to commit crime can make a real
            difference.

People need to feel secure in their homes. Recent research shows
that once you have been a victim of crime, there is a greater
chance that you could be one again. This is known as ‘repeat
victimisation’.
Burglaries can have a devastating effect on people because, as
well as having lost their property, they no longer feel secure.

  Fact 1
  Burglars don’t like locked windows, because
  breaking the glass attracts attention.


  Fact 2
  Burglars don’t like security deadlocks on doors because they cannot
  open them from the inside, and have to leave through a window.




  Fact 3
  Most burglars enter a premises from the rear.




  Fact 4
  Many burglaries take place during the day.




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          Module 11: Security of buildings and property


Taking action to prevent crime in your home
It is important that steps are taken as soon as possible to
prevent crime.
This is where you and your scheme come in. Do not underestimate
the influence you can have in advising local residents about the
preventative measures that can be taken in your neighbourhood.

Home security surveys
Before you start to make a home more secure, you need to
understand how secure it is now. The best way to do this is to
survey its security.


          Stop and think
          However you secure your home, always think about how you
          would escape if there were a fire.
          • How would you open the door in an emergency?
          • How would you open a locked window?
          Make sure that you have a smoke detector conforming to
          British Standard (BS) 5446.

Remember these basic points before carrying out a survey or risk
assessment of a home:
Burglar alarms: Visible alarms make burglars think twice.
Gates and fences: A high wall or fence at the back   of a house can
put off a burglar, but make sure that there are no   weak spots
where a thief could get in. A thorny hedge along a   boundary can
also be a useful deterrent, but keep it trimmed so   that the front
of the house is still visible to passers-by – this   will ensure
that a burglar can’t work unseen.
Garages and sheds: Never leave a garage or garden shed unlocked,
especially if it has a connecting door to the house. Lock tools
and ladders away so that a thief cannot use them to break into the
house.




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          Module 11: Security of buildings and property


Spare keys: Never leave a spare key in an obvious hiding place,
such as under a doormat or inside a letter box – the thief will
look there first.
Single-storey roofs: A thief could reach a first-floor window from
a low roof, so fit window locks to any accessible windows.
Small windows: Even small windows, such as casement windows,
skylights and bathroom fanlights, need locks. A thief can enter
through any gap larger than a human head.
Strangers: Be alert to people loitering in residential streets. If
it is no-one you recognise, call the police.


          Stop and think
          Think like a burglar:
          • Where could an intruder get into the premises?
          • Where could an intruder operate unseen?
          • Where are the weak points – door, window, internal
            garage, etc.?
          • Could property be removed easily from the home?
          • Could stolen property be identified?


Doors
Your home insurer may provide advice about the type of locks to
use on the doors and windows in your home.
Door locks: Most front doors are fitted with a rim latch (commonly
called a ‘Yale’ lock), which locks automatically when the door is
closed but can be opened from the inside without a key.
Rim deadlocks are much more secure – they too lock automatically
when the door is closed, but they can also be locked externally
with a key to prevent them from being opened from the inside.
Mortise deadlock: Fit a five-lever mortise deadlock about a third
of the way up the door. Look for one kite-marked to at least
BS3621.
A deadlock can only be opened with a key, so a thief can’t smash a
nearby panel to open the door from the inside. If the thief gets


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          Module 11: Security of buildings and property


into the house through a window, they can’t carry your property
out through the door.
Hinges: Check that the door hinges are sturdy and secure, with
strong, long screws.
For added security, fit hinge bolts. These are inexpensive and
help to reinforce the hinge side of the door against the use of
force.
Letterboxes: Never hang a spare key inside the letterbox.
Consider fitting a letterbox cage, which stops thieves from
putting their hands through the letterbox and trying the locks
from the inside.
Door viewers: These let you identify the caller before you open
the door.
Chains: These help you to speak to strangers at the door without
letting them in. Buy a chain and use it every time you open the
door.
Patio doors: Patio doors should have special locks fitted to both
the top and bottom (unless they are fitted within the door
system). Install anti-lift devices on sliding doors so that they
cannot be lifted out of their runners.
New doors: New doors can be purchased to a security standard.
Consider asking the installer for them.

Windows
Window locks: DIY shops stock inexpensive, key-operated locks to
fit all kinds of window. Fanlight locks have a bolt to secure the
metal arm used to open and close the window. If you are a tenant
you may be able to get the landlord or council to pay to have them
fitted.
A lock forces the burglar to break the glass and risks attracting
attention.
Casement locks make it impossible to open windows without the
correct key and can lock the two windows together. A more discreet
version is embedded into the wooden frame.
There are also devices to stop the window opening beyond a certain
limit.

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          Module 11: Security of buildings and property


New windows: These can be supplied to BS7950. Consider asking for
them.
Glass: Consider installing laminated glass or double-glazing: a
thief will find it more difficult to break.




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           Module 11: Security of buildings and property


Lighting
Good lighting can deter a thief.
• Some exterior lights have an infra-red sensor that switches the
  light on for a few moments when it detects something within its
  range.
• Lights can also be fitted with a light sensor so that they come
  on automatically as darkness falls.
• Time switches can be used to operate lights and other appliances
  internally. Your scheme could consider buying some timers to lend
  to people when they go away.

Burglar alarms and safes
If your possessions are very valuable or you live in an area with
a lot of burglaries, you should consider installing a burglar
alarm or a safe. A good quality, fitted alarm will certainly deter
burglars.
There are scores of burglar alarms on the market, from inexpensive
DIY kits to sophisticated systems costing hundreds of pounds. You
can purchase easy-to-install ‘wire free’ alarms, whereby sensors
fitted around the house transmit radio detection signals to a
control system. These systems usually take three to four hours to
fit. Wired alarms are cheaper but take longer – around a day – to
install.
Get specialist advice and a number of quotes. Your insurance
company may recommend specific companies. The system installed
should meet BS4737 (professionally installed) or BS6707 (DIY).
If you have an alarm you should make   sure that you designate
someone as a key holder for when you   are away. Then, if your alarm
does go off, there is someone nearby   who can be on hand if the
police attend the incident (and turn   off the alarm if it has gone
off due to a fault).




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             Module 11: Security of buildings and property


Strangers at the door
Not all burglars use force to enter premises, and the elderly are
particularly vulnerable to the bogus official or random caller.
Most callers are genuine but some are not.


 The doorstep code:
 LOCK – Keep your front and back doors locked, even when you are
 at home.
 STOP – Think before you answer the door; are you expecting
 anyone?
 CHAIN – Make sure that the chain or bar is on the door before
 you open it.
 CHECK – Ask for the caller’s details and identity card.

 If in doubt, keep them out.


Personal security is covered in more detail in Module 10.

Preventing crime in your garden or allotment
We have looked at security for the home itself, but what should be
done to keep the garden, garage or shed secure?


  Fact 1
  The majority of thefts are committed by opportunists.




  Fact 2
  Burglars often break into homes using garden tools taken from sheds
  or outbuildings.



  Fact 3
  The value of the property stored in your garden, shed or garage is
  probably much higher than you would think.



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           Module 11: Security of buildings and property




Sheds and garden buildings
Follow the suggestions below to keep the contents of sheds and
outbuildings secure:
• Use good-quality locks to secure the
  doors.
• The most effective way to secure the
  doors is to fit a strong hasp and
  staple (also called a ‘padbar’) secured
  with coach bolts (very long bolts with
  a smooth head that cannot be undone
  with a screwdriver or spanner). Lock
  the hasp over the staple with a close-
  shackled padlock.
• Most door hinges on outbuildings are exposed and easily removed
  by taking out the screws. To prevent this, use strap hinges
  secured by coach bolts.
• Always lock the doors to sheds and outbuildings when they are not
  in use.

Outdoors
Garden furniture and ornaments are expensive and are increasingly
targeted by criminals. Here are some steps you can take outside
your home to improve security:
• Install security lights to illuminate your garden. Don’t
  underestimate the effect of good lighting as a crime prevention
  measure.
• Cut back shrubs, hedges and large plants to allow surveillance.
• Prickly planting is a visual deterrent and a physical barrier.
  Use it to complement other crime prevention measures (not to
  replace them). Get advice from your local garden centre.
• Mark gardening and DIY equipment, garden furniture and ornaments
  with your postcode by engraving or printing, and photograph
  valuable plants and ornaments. If they are stolen, this will help
  the police to trace them.


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          Module 11: Security of buildings and property


At the allotment
Allotments are harder to protect, since they are more isolated.
Follow the advice given for gardens. In addition:
• get to know your neighbours on the allotment and look out for
  each other; and
• don’t leave expensive equipment on your allotment, even if it is
  locked in the shed.




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             Module 11: Security of buildings and property



         Practical activity 11.1: Think like a
         burglar!
         The aim of this activity is to encourage you to look
         critically at the security in your own home. By the end
         of the activity you will be able to identify:
         •    weak spots in your home security; and
         •    steps you can take to improve home security.

There are three stages to this activity:
1 Read the section of this module ‘Taking action to prevent
  crime in your home’.
2 Complete the security checklist for your doors and windows.
3 Walk round your home, inside and outside, and identify as
  many weak spots as you can. Look particularly at doors and
  windows, especially at the back of the building – the
  burglar’s favourite entry point.
     •   Where could an intruder get into the premises?
     •   Where could an intruder operate unseen?
     •   Could property be easily removed from your home?
     •   Could you identify your property after it had been
         taken?
  Record the weak spots in the table below.
4 Make a list of actions you could take to protect your
  property in your absence.
If several members of your scheme fill in the form at the same
time, you could compare notes at a Neighbourhood Watch meeting.




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           Module 11: Security of buildings and property



        Practical activity 11.1: Doors checklist
                                                  N/A   Yes   No

Do all external doors have a solid wood core?

Do all external doors have two good locks?

Are there three strong hinges fitted to all
external doors?

Is a security chain fitted?

Is the security chain always used?

Do any external doors have glass panels,
especially in the lower half?

If you have sliding patio doors, can they be
lifted off their rails?

Are garage and shed doors kept securely locked?




       Practical activity 11.1: Windows checklist
                                                  N/A   Yes   No

Are window locks fitted to all ground-floor
windows and any accessible first-floor windows?

Are the window locks easy to use?

Are the window locks always used properly?

Are the window frames rotten, or is the putty
dried out?




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           Module 11: Security of buildings and property



                      Practical activity 11.1:

Security weak spots                  How could I protect my property?




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           Module 11: Security of buildings and property



       Practical activity 11.2: Security in your
       garden or allotment
       The aim of this activity is to look critically at the
       security in your garden or allotment. By the end of the
       activity you will be able to identify:
       •    weak spots in your outdoor security; and
       •    steps you can take to improve security in your garden
            or allotment.

1 Read the section on ‘Preventing crime in your garden or
  allotment’.
2 Carry out a survey of your garden or allotment and note down
  your answers in the table on the next page.
3 Make a list of actions you could take to protect the property
  in your garden or allotment.
If several members of your scheme fill in the form at the same
time, you could compare notes at a Neighbourhood Watch meeting.




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           Module 11: Security of buildings and property



Practical activity 11.2: Security in your garden or allotment

Security weak spots                How could I protect my property?




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          Module 11: Security of buildings and property



         Practical activity 11.3: Security in your
         neighbourhood
         The aim of this activity is to look critically at the
         security in your neighbourhood. Collecting data from
         members of your scheme who have completed activities
         11.1 and 11.2 will help you with this activity.


What do you think are the benefits of promoting security in
your neighbourhood?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________


What are the weak points in security in your neighbourhood?
•   Look at the individual homes in your Neighbourhood Watch
    area. Are their locks adequate? Are their security features
    used?
•   Look at the building boundaries. Are the hedges trimmed? Are
    there weak points in boundary fences?
•   Consider the street lighting – are there any dark areas?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________



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        Module 11: Security of buildings and property


____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________


What steps do you think your scheme could take to improve home
security in your area?
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
If several members of your scheme consider the security in the
neighbourhood at the same time, you could compare notes at a
Neighbourhood Watch meeting.




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