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Security for possessions and precious intellectual data

 


Maybe it is because of the longer days and corresponding lighter nights but suddenly out of the blue we have had four opportunistic burglaries and bike thefts from the houses we manage. The first one was last Friday evening when someone was able to squeeze in through a locked room through a window left open for ventilation. With a high wooden gate giving cover to the burglar from neighbour’s eyes even the possibility of being discovered by the house occupants didn’t seem to deter the unwanted visitor. The quick visit resulted in a lost notebook, a purse, some keys and some jewellery whose street value was small compared to the loss of seven month’s university work, which was very bad news with exams looming for the owner.

Certainly getting the strength of contents insurance is important to protect ones possessions but more important is protecting the intellectual loss by having some form of back-up with an external hard drive or storage in the cloud like Dropbox www.dropbox.com which offers 25GB free. This protection for digital intellectual property is crucial for everyone nowadays, as we keep so much information on our tablets, laptops and desktops and if it’s free why not make use of it.

Going back to first principles though the loss could have been prevented if the window had been locked on to the second catch or fitted with a security window cable as shown in the attached photo. In this particular case all the door locks were immediately replaced, as it is a recognised fact that once a house has been broken into a burglar will return. Unfortunately two days later the property was visited gaining entrance over the rear garden fence and a motor bike and bike was taken. Again going back to first principles they should both have been secured to the bike racks bolted to the walls but certainly over time all of us tend to drift into bad habits, which includes leaving our belongings unsecured.

Talking to the friendly local Community Police there are a number of simple aspects which we would all do well to think about and implement. From the burglar’s perspective they are normally looking for empty, unprotected properties, which in this incident was not the case. It would appear that the house was possibly being “cased” for some time prior to the actual event. So it’s about locking gates and making sure front and back doors are locked, as the second incident involved a burglar gaining entrance through a front door left on the latch. They were only in the house for a few minutes to do their damage but the loss caused by loss of intellectual property was much larger than the value of the items lost.

Certainly double glazing and plastic doors with multi-locking points and robust hinges has increased house security, as single glazing is so much easier to break into than double glazing. One aspect though of cheaper double glazing units are the flimsy hinges and window opening systems, which are easily snapped, forced and bent to make it easier for burglars to gain entrance. It is well worth spending the extra money to ensure that the windows and doors are made to British Standard BS7950 'Windows of Enhanced Security’. Alongside more secure window and door products, one product we are seeing more and more are the addition of small window and door trembler alarms available from B&Q (http://www.upvcwindow-doorparts.co.uk/door-security-upvc/product/glass-break-detector-1116/colour/white) and are worth investigating. Whilst looking at this product, it would be well worth visiting the Safer Homes webpages run by the Derbyshire Police (http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/Safety-advice/Home-Security/Safer-Homes.aspx) where the whole subject is dealt with in considerable detail under a variety of headings including windows and doors and gardens and sheds. As always should you need to discuss this subject please contact Blue i Properties on 01332 371661, who can provide more information on this crucial subject.

 

William Barron
Blue i Properties
March 23rd 2014
 

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