Advice on Home Security – External & Garden Security

External and garden security

  • Ensure side gates and rear entrances to your property are securely locked.
  • Burglars often use garden tools to break in, so keep them in a securely locked garage or shed.
  • Consider replacing glass shed windows with polycarbonate sheet (very strong plastic). You may also want to consider using a grille or heavy wire mesh to protect shed windows.
  • Postcode anything of value in your shed and garage. A lawn mower, for example, will be harder for the burglar to sell on with your house number and postcode painted across it.
  • Secure or lock ladders away so that a burglar cannot use them to access your home.
  • Lighting around the perimeter of your home may deter burglars and make them more visible. Good quality low energy lights are long lasting and cheap to run.
  • Good fencing topped with trellises is an important part of protecting your property.
  • Consider planting prickly shrubs beneath windows and other vulnerable areas in your garden.
  • Adding gravel to your drive, pathways and beneath windows is a deterrent to burglars as it makes noise, attracting attention.
  • If you are having building works on your home that require scaffolding it may be necessary for you to fit window locks on previously inaccessible windows. It may be worth checking with your home insurer as it could affect your policy.

Advice on Home Security – When you’re out or away

When you’re out or away

  • Consider fitting an alarm system: as well as alerting you or others to intruders, visible alarms make burglars think twice about breaking in.
  • If you have an alarm installed you are strongly advised to complete and return the alarm keyholder nomination form (available for download from the Related Downloads area) supplying your keyholder details to us. If Environmental Services get a complaint about your alarm sounding, keyholders can be contacted and the alarm silenced.
  • When going on holiday ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property, open and close curtains and clear your mail: post and junk mail piling up in porches or protruding from letterboxes is good indication to a burglar that the house may be unoccupied.
  • Use timers for lights and radios if you will be out of the house overnight. They create the impression that someone is at home. It is not recommended to use TVs for this purpose.
  • Cancel your regular deliveries such as milk and newspapers.

Advice on Home Security – Property


  • Mark all your expensive property with your postcode and house number using a UV (ultraviolet) pen. This will make the property harder for criminals to sell on and help police reunite you with stolen items should they be recovered. If you move house simply put an ‘X’ at both ends of your old code and mark again with your new code.
  • For smaller items like jewellery, photograph them on a contrasting background and next to a ruler to give scale.
  • You should not postcode especially valuable items such as antiques and paintings as they may be devalued. Have them professionally valued, pass the details to your insurance company and obtain written confirmation from them that the items are insured.
  • Make an inventory including every valuable item; noting the year you brought it, price when new, serial number, make and model. Keep the inventory in a safe place away from your home, for example at work.
  • Hide or lock away all passports and official documents, preferably in a house safe.
  • Don’t leave the empty box to new expensive items, such as TVs, by the outside bin: this is an advertisement to the burglar. Take them to a recycling point or municipal dump.
  • Be especially aware around Christmas when burglars know there are presents around.
  • If you’ve been burgled it is possible the burglar will return within a few weeks to steal the replacement items you bought.

Advice on Home Security – Windows


  • Window locks do deter burglars: if they need to smash glass to gain entry they will leave evidence and be more likely to draw attention.
  • Fit locks on all ground floor windows and those that may be accessed from flat roofs or drainpipes. Use locks that secure the opening part of the window to the main frame.
  • Window locks are available from locksmiths, hardware/DIY stores and builders’ merchants. Buy the most expensive locks you can afford.
  • Close and lock all windows when you go out.
  • In warmer weather do not leave accessible windows open in unoccupied rooms: an open window is an invitation for an opportunist burglar.
  • Consider installing double glazing that meets British Standard 7950, which is a standard for enhanced window security.
  • Laminated glass is better than toughened because it stays in place when it’s smashed. This both slows a burglar down and is safer for children.
  • Don’t leave items of value – for example handbags, mobiles, cash, wallets or keys – on display close to an open window as these can be easily snatched by a passing thief.

Advice on Home Security – Doors & Locks

Doors and locks

  • Ensure external doors and frames are strong and in good condition. Doors should be solid core construction – a minimum 44mm thick.
  • Check the hinges and glass panels.
  • Fit a British Standard 3621 mortice deadlock – because it cannot be slipped, is difficult to pick and is very strong.
  • Consider reinforcing the door frame with metal strips; a London Bar on the lock side and a Birmingham Bar on the hinge side.
  • Lock all external doors when leaving your home. Always use your deadlocks.
  • If you use your deadlocks when you go to bed make sure you keep the keys in a secret but easy to hand place: you may need to leave in an emergency – for example in the event of a fire. If you prefer not to deadlock your door at night, secure your front door with heavy duty sliding bolts.
  • Do not leave keys near windows or doors inside your home: burglars can use ‘fishing rod’ devices to retrieve your keys through your letterbox and use them to enter your home or steal your car. They will probably do both.
  • French doors or windows should be secured by fitting lockable door security bolts at the top and bottom of each opening section. Your insurers may also require the use of a centrally mounted British Standard 3621 deadlock.
  • Outward opening doors must be fitted with hinge bolts as exposed hinges are vulnerable to attack.
  • If you live in a flat or maisonette, check the security of main communal entrances and seek professional advice if you are in any doubt about its security.
  • Always close communal doors and never allow access to anyone you do not recognise.
  • Never hide keys outside your home. If you have a spare set leave them with a friend or trusted neighbour.
  • Only leave keys with trusted tradesmen as they may be easily copied.
  • If you have just moved in we advise you consider changing the door locks – you don’t know who may have a key.

FREE Home Security Advice

East Putney Safer Neighbourhood Team

East Putney Safer Neighbourhood Team:

PCSO Noel Perkins, Acting Sergeant Barry Hawkins & PC Fiona Murray.

If you would like a FREE Home Security Check Up please contact them on 020 8785 8875 or 101.

The East Putney Safer Neighbourhood Team will liaise with WANDSAFE (Part of the Community Safety Division of Wandsworth Council) that can arrange home visits to advise on home security and FLaSH Services 020 7223 1234 (a free of charge service that will fit door and window locks for all residents of Wandsworth) and put them directly in touch with homeowners.

Keep your home safe and burglars out. Download our Community Safety Guide to home security and crime prevention.,2072B,6MU7GJ,77OTA,1



FREE Home Fire Safety Checks

Could you live with the consequences of not checking that vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours have working smoke alarms in their homes?

If you or someone you know needs a smoke alarm, call the London Fire Brigade free on 08000 28 44 28 or email Could you live with yourself if you didn’t?

The winter months can potentially spell danger for older people in the capital. Nearly 60 per cent of people who die in fires are aged 60 or over and the winter period is the time of greatest risk as use of heaters and cooking appliances increases.

That’s why our Could you live with yourself? campaign targets vulnerable older people at boroughs throughout London where fires and fire deaths are high.

Hundreds of people across London have already called our freephone number or emailed us to request a home fire safety check.

The campaign aims to cut the number of fire-related deaths among the over 60s in London. It’s also aimed at the people who look after older people such as Social Services, including home helps and elderly care teams, carer groups, neighbours or a family member anyone with a direct link to older people.

We’ve written to London boroughs, housing trusts, charities and voluntary groups to help get our message across and we’ll also be giving talks to voluntary groups and community organisations across London.

Older people or members of their family and carers are asked to contact our freephone number to book a home fire safety check.

As well as offering free home fire safety checks to older people, we’ll also be installing 10-year smoke alarms. These are free of charge for older people where needed.

Fire Safety

East Putney Neighbourhood Police Public Meeting – Thursday 12th December at 7pm.

I write to inform you of the forthcoming East Putney Neighbourhood Police Public Meeting which will take place in the new dining hall at Putney High School, 35 Putney Hill SW15 6BH  on Thursday the 12th of December starting from 1900 hours. This is the last Public Meeting of the year and we look forward to seeing you there.

PCSO 7231 Noel Perkins – Putney Team

Total Policing is the Met’s commitment to be on the streets and in your communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

PCSO Noel Perkins