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Security Tips for the Home

Home Security Self Assessment

Download and review the Home Office's 'burglary checklist', which gives lots of good burglary prevention advice.

Mark your valuable items with 'SmartWater'

Smart Water is a clear forensic solution that is easily and quickly applied to valued possessions. No two SmartWater solutions have the same forensic code, meaning that marked items can be traced back to where they came from, provided that the solution applied has been registered with SmartWater. This also means that criminals can be linked with crime scenes. The solution is invisible under normal light, but glows brightly under UV light, making it easily identifiable by the police.

Mark items with a small amount of SmartWater, register the kit to your building and clearly display the stickers supplied with the kit to deter potential thieves. When dry, SmartWater is almost invisible to the naked eye so that it cannot be seen on an object. The SmartWater logo is well known among criminals and the window stickers alone are seen as a deterrent. Criminals apparently avoid it because it significantly increases the chances of them being caught.

Smartwater property marking kits are currently available at a reduced rate of £15.00 from the front desk at Wantage Police Station. The kits include property and window stickers.

If you require further information about Smartwater or alternative methods of property marking, please ask to speak to a member of your neighbourhood policing team by calling the 101 number.

Use the free Immobilise Anti-theft Property Register

Register your valuable items for free on the Immobilise website <here>, creating a private and secure portfolio of all your personal property.

If any of your registered items is ever lost or stolen, you can then use the Immobilise system to instantly tell police, insurers, and the second-hand trade. These actions help greatly in the recovery of your property and capture of thieves.

You can also purchase 'Immobilise' window stickers to act as an additional deterrent.

Free Crime Prevention Survey by Thames Valley Police

The local police can assist with crime prevention surveys, where they assess properties/outbuildings/security etc and advise on crime prevention. The surveys are free and can be arranged by calling 101 and requesting the Faringdon neighbourhood policing team get in contact. Alternatively, you can email them on [email protected]

General Tips

Garden, Shed and Garage Security

Criminals are not only interested in the property within your house. They can also be tempted by goods and equipment stored outside in garages, shed and even the garden. Property such as bicycles, lawnmowers and power tools are just as valuable to a thief as televisions, ipods and cameras.

However, by following a few simple steps you can help keep your property safe and deter thieves and burglars from targeting your property.

Ensure that your building/s are in good condition and look to improve security by -

Garages, Sheds and Other Outbuildings

  • Fixing mesh or bars on the inside of windows
  • Fit good locks to all doors and padlocks would be at least 6cm/2.5ins wide, hardened steel, have at least 5 pins and be of a close shackled type which reduces the risk of bolt cropping and tampering.
  • Fittings should be bolted through the door and reinforced at the back with a steel plate or washer; hasps should have concealed screws.
  • Fit additional locks to up and over doors, or invest in a garage 'defender' security device
  • Consider installing an alarm, either a battery operated alarm or upgrade an existing house alarm to encompass the shed and / or garage.
  • Remember to use the locks in situ at all times, even if you are at home but keep the keys out of sight and in a safe place.


  • Secure all items that could easily be removed, such as bricks and tools, as they can be used against you to gain entry to your property.
  • Security mark property using a UV pen and permanent marker such as lawn mowers, furniture and all tools with your postcode and advertise the fact they are marked. Keep a note of serial / make / model numbers.
  • Take photographs of any valuable items such as garden ornaments, if they are stolen the Police can circulate the photos to help with identification.
  • Ensure that bicycles are security marked and have additional devices such as padlock and chain to secure them inside the shed or garage.


  • Consider installing dusk till dawn security lights to illuminate your garden and deter thieves.
  • Keep shrubs, bushes, hedges etc cut back as they can provide a hiding place for offenders.
  • Check all boundary fences, walls and gates are in good repair as a solid barrier is an excellent deterrent to the opportunistic thief.
  • Ask neighbours to keep an eye on your property day and night, and do the same for them.
  • Contact the Police immediately if you see anything suspicious.