Security for your home
Home security is the best way to reduce your chances of being burgled. Some basic tips are listed in this section. Many of them are common sense, but they could make all the difference to the safety of your home.
Tips for home security
- When you go out always lock your doors and close your windows; even if it’s just for a short amount of time and you consider your neighbourhood to be a fairly safe area.
- Have locks fitted on your windows. A burglar is less likely to break in if they have to smash a window.
- Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage or shed, and put keys out of sight in the house.
- Make sure you know who has access to your key safe.
- Use timers for things like lights and the radio if you are going away, to help to create the impression that someone is at home.
- Have a visible burglar alarm
- Fit a ‘spy hole’ to let you see who is at the door and a door chain so that you can open the door a little way to talk to people.
- Don’t keep large amounts of money at home, and don’t keep your cheque book and cheque guarantee card together.
- Keep all documents containing personal details out of sight and locked away if possible
- Remove valuables from display and put your keys and mobile phone in a safe place
- Lock away garden tools or other objects outside that can be used to prise open windows and doors
- Mark your property with property marking pens
- If you are upstairs, make sure downstairs is secure
- Install outside security lighting such as ‘dusk till dawn’
- Contact Envirocall – Newcastle City Council to report streetlights that aren’t working in your neighbourhood.
Report any anti-social behaviour and non-emergencies to Northumbria Police on 101. In emergencies always call 999.
Bogus callers are people who pretend to be someone they are not, like a workman, or someone from a utility company. Such callers could be looking to commit a distraction burglary: they want to trick their way into your home in order to steal. Always be cautious about any unknown man, woman, or child who comes to your door, without arranging it with you first
You may feel rude to refuse entry to someone who comes to your door, but it is your doorstep and, therefore, your decision. If you doubt whether someone is genuine, you should avoid giving them any personal details and don’t let them into your home.
Key Safes may be essential to your home security or the security of a vulnerable person. They provide a valuable way to manage home visits from friends, family, parishioners and community workers because the key is safely installed on the wall of your home and can only be accessed by a code which can be changed frequently.
You can buy products online; you can also browse products online and then find a local supplier, or you can visit one of your local DIY superstores. Remember to check that the product has been approved by Which or meets the police preferred specification.
Remember to think about the range of people visiting, how easy it is to change the access code and whether the key safe is compatible with your home insurance.
Useful local advice and support
Northumbria Police can offer more advice and support, including property marker pens and timer lights.
Checked and Vetted provide a list of verified tradespeople who you could employ to install small security measures around the home, such as fitting locks, keychains, spy holes and external lights.
Care & Repair Newcastle may be able to offer some advice on products and installation of key safes.
SafetyWorks! Interactive Safety Centre is an interactive safety centre serving the community of Tyne and Wear. Visitors participate in realistic situations illustrating everyday hazards and how to prevent them. SafetyWorks! is operated and managed by Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service and works in partnership with other agencies. SafetyWorks! has a dedicated Older Persons Safety Advisor and welcomes visits from older people.
Suzy Lamplugh Trust has produced the following guidance sheets, which are designed to give you useful tips and information to help improve your personal safety at home.
Other useful information
- Scams advice on the Age UK website
- Staying Safe Guide by Age UK
- Information NOW section on Consumer advice
Last updated: November 6, 2018