THE PSNI have some advice for homeowners with regard to keeping your house and property safe throughout the year. Here are some handy tips:
General Advice - Check all doors and windows for any weaknesses; Fit barrel locks to the top and bottom of doors; Make sure you keep the appropriate keys nearby in case of an emergency; Protect Your Keys; Always keep your keys safe; Never give keys to workmen or tradesmen; Change your locks if you think other people might have copies; Selling Your Home; Never show people around on your own; Ask your estate agent to send a representative with anyone viewing your house.
One of the most common fears people have is that someone will break into their home while they are sleeping. You can take some simple steps to avoid a confrontation with the intruder, such as making enough noise to scare them away or hiding quietly and calling the police.
Keep your curtains drawn as a precaution, so that no one can see who is in your home. If you think someone is outside then do not go and investigate. Keep yourself safe, keep the doors locked and call the police immediately on 999.
Dealing with an Intruder - There is no correct course of action - use your judgement, but keep calm and do not take any unnecessary risks. It is a good idea to keep a phone in your bedroom so that you can call us if you need to. Contact us as soon as you feel that it is safe - we are here to help.
Noticing a Break-In - You may be tempted to enter your property and see what is missing but you should wait for the police to arrive. The intruder may still be in the property and your safety is more important than your possessions - it is our job to protect you. Even if you see a smashed window or open door, go to your neighbours and call for police assistance.
Most callers to your home will be genuine. However, there are some who may not be. Do not go by appearances and always get proof of the person’s identity - a genuine caller will be only too happy to provide this information.
If you are in any doubt simply check your caller out with Quick Check on Freephone 0800 013 22 90. Before you answer the door, make sure your back door is locked. If you have a door chain remember to use it before you open the door. Ask the caller for their identification and check it carefully. Ask them to wait outside and close the door - genuine callers will not mind. Ring Quick Check on freephone 0800 013 22 90. Your call will be answered personally and promptly by a trained operator. They will check with the company on your behalf, that the person at your door is genuine. If they are not or they think that there is something suspicious, they will contact the police immediately. Do not let anyone into your home until you are satisfied as to who they are. Quick Check is a free telephone service, which is available 24 hours a day all year round to residents throughout Northern Ireland.