Secured by Design (SBD) Senior Technical Officer Michael Brooke joined the Met Police’s lead for tackling burglary, Superintendent Sean Wilson, on the Voice of Islam UK Drive Time Show on Tuesday, 9 October, discussing Home Security.
The radio show ran the show to raise awareness of October being National Home Security Month, a nationwide initiative, supported by Yale, which is designed to create awareness around the importance of home security.
Guests on the show discussed ways to combat the rise in burglaries, providing guidance, hints and tips to highlight steps people can take to make their homes safer.
Michael spoke about SBD’s Police Preferred Specification – this is a security standard for products like doors, windows and locks that more than meet the security requirements of the Building Regulations. The SBD accreditation recognises that these products are sufficiently robust to resist attack by casual or opportunistic burglars.
Michael also gave advice on the practical steps that people can take themselves to protect their home:
• Always keep front doors and windows locked when you are out. If you know you are going to be in the back of the house for a period of time, make sure the front door and front windows are all secure.
• You should also look to make your home look occupied even if you are out. This is particularly important as the evenings start to get darker earlier. You can put timers on lights and set them for different times in different rooms. That will make it look like someone is moving around inside the house. Also, there are a number of companies that offer products where you can control your lighting, heating and appliances remotely – from an app on your mobile phone. These products can also alert you if your front door or windows have been opened – and provide you with video footage inside your home.
• Outside, always keep visibility to a maximum at the front of your property by cutting back any high hedging or trees or plants that would prevent people in the street seeing your home. Burglars prefer to work unseen – and good sight lines are a deterrent. In the back garden keep boundary fencing high and top it with trellis. And grow prickly plants next to your fencing. This would make access into your rear garden very difficult.
• Also, you may want to consider extra lighting, CCTV and alarms. SBD have accredited many of these products, which can be seen at www.securedbydesign.com
• If you are looking to move into a new home, ask if it has been built to Secured by Design standards. If it hasn’t then police haven’t been involved. If it has, then you can be assured that it will meet SBD standards.
• If you are looking at replacing your existing doors and windows, then ask your supplier about Secured by Design. Again, if they are not Secured by Design accredited then it’s unlikely their products will be as secure as those that SBD have accredited.
• Simply by asking builders or product manufacturers about Secured by Design will increase pressure on these companies and organisations to provide products that are secure.
• If you want crime prevention advice visit the SBD website www.securedbydesign.com or your local police force website and look for crime prevention. Alternatively, dial 101 and ask to speak to your local Police station requesting to speak to someone who deals with crime prevention or Secured by Design.
• If you do see a crime being committed or anyone acting suspiciously, dial 999 immediately. Police officers would rather come out to check that everything is OK, than to find someone has become a victim of crime.
Secured by Design
SBD is a police-owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK to deliver a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives.
SBD plays a significant crime prevention role in the planning process to design out crime in a wide range of building sectors. It has achieved some significant success including one million homes built to SBD standards with reductions in crime of up to 87%.
SBD have many partner organisations, ranging from the Home Office, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and the Police Service through to local authorities, housing associations, developers and manufacturers and work closely with standards and certification bodies to ensure that their publicly available standards actually meet the needs of the police and public alike. Products must be subjected to vigorous testing and auditing by an accredited third party organisation before being allowed to carry the SBD logo – this is the only way for companies to obtain police accreditation for security related products in the UK.
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