Opportunity creates a thief as the saying goes. So take away the opportunity and they will move on. In this article we look at some of the things you can do to improve your security in and around Fethiye.
The findings of a burglary survey we carried out in 2009 highlighted that inadequate property security either physical or practice made it easy for a burglar to access property.
Times may have moved on but the same advice still stands and in this article we look at some of the things you can do to improve your security.
Spend to Save
A local member of the security services once said when asked about burglary “If you buy a property costing 100,000GBP then why won’t you spend another 1,000 GBP to secure it?”
It’s a good point. The majority of properties built are not secure and developers leave it up to buyers to sort out their own security. This is partly on cost grounds and also because there isn’t any regulation to ensure minimum security features. Sure, you will have what looks like a nice secure steel front door but the back doors are likely to be UPVC with poor locks and even external hinges that can be knocked out with a nail.
There is also reluctance by many foreign owners to fit window and door bars thinking it will spoil the look of their home or make it feel like they are living in a prison.
But as our survey found burglars find it quick and easy to pop open windows or doors without bars fitted.
Locking doors and windows when you go to bed or go out is also important. It may sound simple but it is often forgotten.
Below we list a whole range of things you may want to consider to secure your property and a link to a UK website where you can fill out an online security assessment form.
Close it, Lock it and Bolt it Down!
Change all locks when you move into your new home – you don’t know who might have had access to your place before you and how many keys are floating around.
Only leave keys with trusted friends and then think twice. Even ‘friends’ have been known to rent or lend property to people while the owners are away!
Fitting physical barriers to prevent access to lower storey apartments, or villas e.g. bars. The locals don’t like to spend money on things that aren’t needed so if they have them fitted they must be needed! You should cover all windows and doors and even small windows that you may think are too small for a burglar to gain access. If a burglar can get their head through a window they can also get their body through especially if children are employed to gain access.
If you do fit window and door bars make sure you have a means of escape in the event of a fire.
Lock all doors and windows when you leave your house or at night when you go to bed. The big steel front doors may look secure but can be popped open with a screw driver or crow bar if you don’t double lock them. This also makes it difficult for burglars to exit using the front door if you remove the keys on the inside. Even if you are on the second floor an open door is an easy target for an agile burgler.
Check to see if your steel door has been properly installed. It should be bolted to the frame and filled with concrete. Many builders don’t do this and the burglars know it’s a weakness.
Drop window shutters if you have them.
Keeping the front door to apartment blocks or villas closed and locked at all times. Lock it when you leave the house, go to the pool or go to bed – don’t just rely on the normal latch.
Fit additional window and door locks and keep the keys secure.
Use a broom handle to secure sliding patio doors of you don’t have additional locks.
Secure roof lights to prevent entry from the roof. Lock all accesses to roofs and restrict key holders. Access via the roof is a popular and effective way that burglers gain access in and around Fethiye.
Lock drive way gates and garage doors to prevent easy vehicle access. Burglars want a quick escape so locking gates will slow them down and maybe get them to move on to their next less secure target.
Secure lower level air-conditioning units to prevent removal e.g. by enclosing in bars.
Fill the base of potted plants with stones so they cannot be easily carried away.
Lay gravel around property so burglars cannot walk around without making a crunching sound and alerting you to their presence.
Secure valuable outside furniture, bikes and gas bottles by locking to secure objects with a good quality cable and padlock.
Lock ladders and secure anything else that can be used to help a burglar get in to your place.
Put garden tools, chain saws etc in a secure locked shed. Also consider marking them in some way to help identify them to you.
Alarms and Cameras
Fit a full property, window and door alarms. Make sure you leave a key with someone who can turn the alarm off if it goes off while you are away!
If you can’t afford a full alarm system small battery operated window and door alarms are available from 1.50 TL.
Real or dummy CCTV could also be a good deterrent especially when signs are displayed as well warning of the cameras.
Fit PIR lights in strategic places that are triggered by movement.
Keep your car locked and valuables out of sight or take them with you. Take radios out or remove the front facia if available. Park in a secure location inside a gated driveway or a garage.
The ‘M’ plates are an easy way for burglars to identify you as a foreigner and a potential target. Park in such a way so that your vehicle plates are out of view of casual passers-by or put a cover over the vehicle.
Keep car keys secure to prevent your vehicle being used as a method of transporting your stuff to the burglar’s final destination. Don’t leave the keys by the front door or within easy grasp.
Insure your possessions but make sure you understand the limits and cover.
Keep a record of all card numbers, bank statements and contact numbers independently of your mobile phone and/or computer so you can cancel them quickly.
Keep a record of all electrical item serial numbers and store them safely.
Mark items with your name and address.
Safe & Sound
Burglars use metal detectors to find your valuables that have been hidden away so buy a sturdy in-house safe to lock away valuable documents and other items such as laptop computers, jewellery and credit cards.
Lock laptops away when not in use and use a cable lock to secure them when in use.
Set BIOS passwords and main passwords to secure laptops and other computers.
Monitor electricity and water bills. Vacant owners should watch out for usage while they are away indicating theft of electricity or water.
Mans Best Friend
Get a dog, or fit a sign warning of a dog on the premises.
Don’t tell strangers (waiters, touts or people in bars) where you live and be careful of workmen who visit your property – maybe they are checking your place out or will tell their mates about your stuff.
Supervise workers in your home closely and don’t let them wander around your house. Lock away all valuables when they are around and take away temptation.
Keep your eyes open and report any suspicious activities to the Police or Jandarma. A car parked with people in near your property or a stranger you see doing the rounds may be burglars just waiting to pounce!
Please remember that none of these precautions will deter the determined burglar.
However, most burglars are looking for an easy target so the more difficult you can make life for them the less likely they will hang around to break into your place.
And….if you do catch a burglar on your premises don’t take the law into your own hands and ‘have a go’ or you’ll be the one in prison!
Finally, if you are offered goods for sale at knock down prices just ask yourself ‘could these have been stolen?’ Don’t support the burglars.
If you have any more suggestions please let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org