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Cleaning Up After A Burglary and Home Security Tips
Now, this isn’t the jolliest topic in the run up to Christmas, but considering there has been a spate of burglaries in the area and with houses filling up with Christmas presents over the coming weeks, it might be a good time to think about not only how secure your home is, but, if the worst should happen, how to clean up afterwards and get things back to normal as soon as possible. Below are a few handy tips to get you started and also some helpful booklets from the Metropolitan Police that you can download.
Home Security Tips
1. If you’ve got a hedge at the front of your home, keep it trimmed back. Whilst you may have it for privacy, it also gives privacy to burglars snooping around outside.
2. Get some outdoor movement sensor lights. Make sure you have one at the front and back of the house or near any entrances to your property. Make sure the bulbs are working and that the switch to turn them on and off are indoors. If they’re outdoors, the burglar can turn them off!
3. If you have a garden, consider getting a six foot fence with vertical slats. The height will help prevent burglars getting in.
4. On your garden gate, make sure it is lockable from the inside and outside and add pad bolts to the top and bottom.
5. Having prickly hedging can also act as a deterrent to anyone trying to gain access to your property.
1. Net curtains, voiles or roller blinds mean that anyone looking in will find it hard to tell whether the property is empty or not. These can be fitted in all rooms of your house. When out or away, close them. By leaving them half open, burglars will be able to see in and know you are away.
2. Mark belongings like laptops and TVs with your name and postcode using a UV pen.
3. Get a lamp that will come on at a set time (e.g. dusk) and fit it with a low energy bulb. Alternatively, put a lamp on if you know it will be dark before you get home.
4. Set the radio or TV to come on in the evening if you are away or out.
Also, fitting a burglar alarm in your home that is visible from the outside is a great deterrent. You can download the following leaflets from the Metropolitan Police with more details about how to secure your home:
Cleaning Tips After A Burglary
If the worst does happen, you’re probably going to be left with a bit of a mess in the house and an overall feeling that things have been touched and moved by people who shouldn’t have been there. Problems you may encounter are:
Dirty fingerprints and hand prints
Broken windows / glass
General mess where belongings have been moved and rifled through
Eaten food and drinks taken
Remember, do not touch anything until the police have visited, taken evidence and said that it’s ok for you to clean up. Then you’re free to start getting things back to normal. We would suggest doing things in the following order:
1. Tidy up your belongings to make sure everything is put back where it should be. This will initially help you bring some order to the situation and begin restoring normality.
2. Clear away any broken objects or glass. Be very careful and wrap pieces of glass in plenty of newspaper. When you’ve cleared it all up, put the hoover over it to get rid of any last bits of glass. The house will now be safe to walk about in.
3. If you think any of your food or drink has been touched, you probably won’t fancy eating it, so get rid of anything you think has been tampered with and make a list of those things so you know they need replacing.
4. With a damp sponge and some warm water, go round your home and check for dirty hand prints. Wipe these off gently to avoid damaging your paintwork. Also check mirrors and glass for prints and wipe these up too. You may want to book a window cleaner to get rid of any marks on the outside.
5. If you have muddy footprints on a hard floor, hoover first, then mop them up with a warm, damp mop and some cleaning fluid. If the prints are on the carpet wait until the mud is dry. Then try to scrape as much off as possible. Next, mix a little bit of laundry detergent (liquid or powder) with a little warm water and dab on to the footprints. Leave this for 30 minutes or longer if the prints are particularly muddy! Come back and blot the print with warm water until the stain is removed. Make sure the carpet isn’t getting too wet. It should just be damp. Keep going with this part until you’re satisfied. If it’s really not shifting, you may need to get a carpet cleaner in.
6. Whilst waiting to finish cleaning the muddy footprints as the detergent does it’s job, you could contact the glazier and locksmith to arrange for your property to be secured. Also contact your insurance company to begin claiming for any stolen goods.
7. Now your home should look almost back to normal. Make it extra special by buying some fresh flowers, getting clean towels and fresh bedding out. Light some candles and get your home looking as cosy as you can to help you relax.
We understand that some people won’t feel relaxed until their whole home has been cleaned thoroughly from top to bottom. At a time when you’ll be busy arranging appointments with the glazier, locksmith, loss adjuster, the police and hopefully going shopping to buy replacement goods along with the stress and lost sleep you might have just because of the burglary itself, you might not feel up to vigorously cleaning your home. Clear Interiors can do this for you! If you would rather we just took this on for you, get in touch. Let us know what’s happened and we will try to come out to you as soon as possible to help you get things back to normal.