10 times the burglary risk if you ignore home security, says Yale Home security specialist Yale has welcomed the launch of the government’s burglary campaign, highlighting that homes with no security are almost 10 times more likely to be burgled than houses where there are simple security measures in place. Launched last month, the government’s £20million initiative will see security advice, product discounts and security ‘handypeople’ made available to homeowners across the UK. The campaign follows a burglary summit hosted by the Home Secretary in February, after domestic burglary rates increased for the first time since the recession of the mid-1990s. Says Carly Baker of Yale: “Its more important than ever that homeowners have the appropriate security measures in place and we welcome the steps being taken by the government to encourage this. Your risk of being burgled is increased significantly if you don’t protect your home and we have been working with the Home Office and major national retailers to help provide consumers with advice and affordable security products that will make life harder for burglars. “It can be all too easy to overlook home security and to focus on other DIY and home improvement projects instead, but by taking a few simple measures you can protect your home and family, and also reduce your insurance premiums at the same time. “Firstly, take a look at your house from a burglar’s point of view – are there any areas of your property that look vulnerable? Are there any hedges or trees that could act as a shield and protect a burglar from being seen by passersby? Do you have any visible security features in place? Is the exterior of the property well lit at night? Assessing your property in this way will help you to see how you could make your home more secure. “Next, make sure your windows and doors are secured with the correct locks, as they are a common point of entry for burglars. Timber doors should be secured using a British Standard mortice lock and/or nightlatch – look for the kitemark on lock packs or the lock itself. “Fitting an alarm can also dramatically reduce the likelihood of a burglar gaining access to your home – only 30% of UK homes have an alarm system, yet 60% of burglaries attempted on homes fitted with an alarm are unsuccessful. DIY-friendly wirefree alarm kits are available and can be easily installed in your home, plus the siren box on the outside of your property can act as a strong visual deterrent. “Its important to protect sheds and garages too, especially as many of us will be buying new outdoor equipment with the summer approaching. Not only do sheds and garages contain valuable items such as bicycles and lawnmowers, they also house ladders and tools that could prove useful to an intruder. Plus, garages that are linked to a house can provide a route into the rest of your home, if a burglar gains access. You can protect these areas with standalone alarms, which run on battery power, so they are an easy and cost-effective security measure. Carly adds: “Should the worst happen and a burglar does manage to break in, its worth making sure that cash and valuables are stored securely in a home safe, as this will provide you with an extra level of protection. Our own sales of safes have doubled in the last 12 months, which shows how popular they are becoming as a home security measure. “A safe can be used to keep everything from jewellery to passports to electronic equipment safe. MP3 players, digital cameras and laptops are all expensive items in their own right but it’s the sentimental value of their contents – the music catalogue, photos and personal work – that we fear losing too, so storing them in a home safe can give you added peace of mind. With more of us keeping cash in the home too as a result of the banking crisis and low interest rates for savers, now is a great time to install a safe that will act as another barrier to thieves.” Yale offers a wide range of DIY-friendly home security solutions, including door and window locks, padlocks, safes and alarms, including wirefree kits and standalone designs. Yale security products are available in many large retailers and hardware stores, or through your local locksmith. Discounts are available at B&Q and Focus, as part of the government campaign. For product information, security advice or to buy online visit www.yale.co.uk. Alternatively, please telephone 01902 364647 for further information.