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Ten easy ways to avoid burglary

Most break-ins are carried out by casual thieves for easy pickings. A thief is unlikely to persist if he encounters locked doors and windows. Rapid entry and exit are vital for him, he is not likely to climb in and out of the house through broken glass. The tips on this page will all help to keep your home secure.

1) Garage
Add extra security to a back door inside the garage, where an intruder could work totally hidden and ensure that the garage itself is fitted with secure locks.

2) Ladders
Keep ladders locked away. If they must be stored outside, padlock them to a wall with special brackets.

3) Sheds
Make sure sheds are securely padlocked. Tools stored there could be used for a break-in. A garden spade, for example makes a powerful lever for opening windows.

4) Deliveries
Be sure to cancel milk and newspapers when you go away. Arrange for a neighbour to push in unexpected items like leaflets and free newspapers. If you have a glazed porch ask the neighbour to gather up post so that it's not visible from outside.

5) Accessible windows
Fit locks to windows near flat roofs, drainpipes and trees where easy access is possible.

6) Marking valuables
Print you house number and postcode on valuable items with an ultra violet marking pen. Photograph valuable items, showing on the photo where they are marked.

7) Lost Keys
Never have your name and address on your keys.

8) Ground floor windows
Never leave windows open when you go out.

9) Keys
Do not leave keys in locks, under the mat, or hanging inside the letterbox

10) Hedges & Shrubs
Avoid having high hedges and shrubs that will screen a thief from the road or neighbours.