Letterbox crime: Is your home protected?
Published 11.10.2017 in the Blog.
As the dark nights roll in - especially with the clocks going back soon - the cover of darkness helps thieves hide their criminal activity.
But, many don’t upgrade their home security until they have themselves been a victim.
Home security is much more than locking your doors and windows. Burglars will try a number of well calculated approaches to gain entry into your home – and this includes using your letterbox.
Your letterbox is a vulnerable point on your door; criminals can use it to peer through for signs of an empty home, unwanted items can be pushed through the letter box and thieves can use it to ‘fish’ keys out of your property.
Thieves are getting smarter with their methods of breaking into a home. Letterbox ‘fishing’ allows burglars to retrieve your keys, wallets, purses and more without having to step foot into your home! They simply use a long hooked rod, similar to a fishing rod to ‘fish’ for any house and car keys left in reach of the door.
With that said it’s essential to install a letter plate that incorporates added security features as well as including an internal and external flap that has been tested to withstand thousands of openings without breaking. A weak letter plate can be easily snapped off from the outside, giving criminals more room to manoeuvre a rod to ‘fish’ for your keys.
UAP have a wide range of letter plates which have been awarded Secured by Design - the UK Police flagship initiative for secured products and designs recognised for their effectiveness in reducing crime.
The latest addition to the UAP letter plate range - The Soterian TS008 Letter plate - has been specifically designed to combat the threat of key fishing.
High Security Letterbox
TS008:2015 sets the enhanced security and general requirements for letterplates.
The Soterian TS008 letterplate by UAP has been specifically designed and tested to eliminate the risk of an intruder gaining access to your property by means of ‘key fishing’ and an intruder being able to reach through the letterbox to manipulate the lock on the inside of the door.
UAP have always made maximum security a priority and their Letterplate restrictor range is no exception.
It is conceived that any height over 40mm is big enough for someone to insert their hand through the letterbox and manipulate the cylinder on the inside of the door.
The UAP letterplate restrictor is a simple but very effective device, designed to limit the inner flap opening to 40 degrees to minimise the risk of anything being removed through it.
With that said you must ensure that you leave your keys in a safe place; out of sight from passer-bys, but easily accessible in the case of an emergency.
Anti Vandal Letterplate
It’s essential to check that your letterbox has added security features, not only to protect your home from burglars, but to prevent unwanted items being posted through.
Halloween and Bonfire night can be a tempting time for burglars; empty homes and the cover of darkness allow thieves to go unnoticed. But by far the most severe crime to occur are domestic arson attacks.
Alarmingly, each year house fires are started by vandals putting fireworks through letterboxes.
Research obtained through Freedom of Information requests to fire services has found that over the past three years, there has been a 26 per cent increase in recorded incidents of fireworks being posted through letterboxes, according to data taken from 25 fire services across England.
You must be especially vigilant and ensure that your letterbox provides offers added security measures.
UAP offer a wide range of letterboxes that incorporate the trademarked Anti-Vandal facility, a feature not found on standard letterboxes.
Each UAP Anti-Vandal letter plate has the brushes outward facing - a feature no other letter plate in the industry has. Having brushes on the front of the door acts as a visual deterrent to vandals. As the internal cavity is not easily accessible, it makes it much more difficult to post fireworks and other unwanted items through the letterbox.
When upgrading your door hardware, ask you installer for the UAP letterbox and the UAP letterplate restrictor.