Police advice: 7 ways to help protect your home against crime over the summer

PSNI crest
PSNI crest

Police have warned householders to maintain a security conscious approach at home over the summer months.

PSNI Crime prevention officers have issued advice asking houmeowners to pay particular attention to their keys - keeping them out of sight of would-be burglars.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "We all want to get into that summer-holiday mode and chill out however while our attitudes relax, we are often unwittingly presenting would-be thieves with golden opportunities to strike.

"If someone breaks into your home using a lost key, will your home insurance cover you? Surprisingly, the answer could be no. And if you're unlucky enough to be burgled by someone using a key, insurers may look at the case ‘favourably’, but it's never guaranteed.

"But as long as you've taken the necessary steps to fully secure your home, you've fulfilled your duty of care.

"Whether you're covered or not will depend on your insurer. But they should take into account the circumstances that led to someone getting their hands on the key to your property.

"So the overall message here is to check your policy small print. But it's definitely worth bearing this in mind and practice the crime prevention advice in regards to key care."

1. Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox, remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox.

2. Don’t leave your keys in the door at any time however keep them close to the door in case of an emergency.

3. Make sure that neither your house keys nor your car keys are in sight or in easy reach of your windows or doors, Remember, the first places a burglar will look for your door key is under the doormat, in a flower-pot or on a piece of string through the letter box.

4. If you need to give keys to children we urge parents to educate their child about home security before giving them their own key.

5. When you’re at home keep car keys where they will not be easily found. Take particular care at night to ensure they are out of sight.

6. Don’t leave window keys in the locks or lying around the house.

7. Glass panels on doors are particularly vulnerable. If you have one on your door you could replace it with laminated glass, which is stronger. You can also buy a film in a DIY store that you can stick over the glass to make it harder to break.

Any unusual people or activity in your local area should be noted and reported to the PSNI on 101. By taking an interest in what goes on in your neighbourhood you could help prevent a crime. If you witness a crime in progress, call 999. We rely on information from members of the public in order to crack down effectively on this type of crime.