Increase your home security for winter

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Police Scotland is advising householders to review their home security arrangements before winter truly sets in.

Anyone who has a Euro Profile Cylinder lock, used mainly on uPVC doors and which is more than a few years old, is being asked to consider changing to the more secure ‘Beak Secure’ type of cylinder.

This is because criminals have devised methods of snapping these types of cylinders locks in a matter of seconds, and still allow the door lock to be manually unlocked and the door opened giving access to the house.

Chief inspector Russell Penman said: “The number of ‘Lock-Snapping’ housebreakings reported to Police Scotland is minimal compared to other areas of the UK, however the more secure alternative can be easily purchased from High Street retailers or online and fitted by any person with general DIY skills in a few minutes.

“As criminals are now targeting houses with high-value cars parked outside, they are engaging in ‘Two in One’ criminality by both breaking into your home and stealing things like smartphones, tablets and other portable high-value items and then driving away in your car, so good home security is vital. If you have a ‘Secured by Design’ rated door fitted after 2010 you can be confident that it will have a “Break Secure” lock, but this applies only to ‘Secured by Design’ doors and not all doors.”

You can increase security in your home by checking that all the doors and windows are locked; the door locks meet British standards - bear in mind that not complying with this may compromise the insurance cover; house keys and car keys are not in view or easy reach of windows or doors; key-operated locks are fitted to all the windows; install and use a visible burglar alarm; consider leaving lights and the radio on a timer for the evening when house is vacant and make sure rear garden is secure.