The Master Locksmiths Association has set out advice to letting agents on the best way to secure student properties which in some cases are likely to be empty long-term over the summer.
Steffan George, development director of the MLA, says home insurance statistics show that burglaries rise substantially in the summer months, with 43 per cent of break-ins being committed when a home is left unoccupied; yesterday we reported that some councils believe there are higher-than-normal rates of burglary at empty student homes.
“Undertaking a security assessment mitigates these risks. It involves inspecting the exterior of the property for any damage to doors and windows and checking that all locks and any fitted security alarms are working correctly” says George.
“Make sure all locks are correctly fitted and functioning, ensuring that they not only provide a good level of security, but also meet insurance requirements” he advises.
George says security hardware appropriate to empty homes include top and bottom bolts to doors, together with adding sash jammers to UPVC doors.
“Dusk till dawn security lights outside the property may help to deter thieves from targeting the property and alert neighbours to unwelcome activity. Indoor light timers can also be used, giving the impression that someone is inside, we recommend using one upstairs for extra peace of mind” he says.
“If you have serious concerns, then you may want to consider installing CCTV systems that can be remotely monitored. This allows you to keep an eye on your student property from your own home, including via your smartphone, although be mindful that this facility would have to be removed if and when the house is sold” he says.