You should always lock all doors and windows when you go out, whether you're popping to the end of the street or downstairs in your apartment complex, keep them locked.
Keeping your doors and windows locked may be a condition of your home, contents or buildings insurance policy so make sure you check your documents.
Either way it will reduce your chances of falling victim to theft and at the very least, reduce the amount that's taken.
For optimal security consider fitting deadlocks or key operated security bolts to all external doors and key operated locks to all your accessible windows. If you do have deadlocks use them, as they make it harder for thieves to get out again.
You should also consider changing the locks when you move into a new home as the previous occupant may have copies of the keys, especially if the home was a rental property before.
If you're living in rented accommodation, speak to the landlord as you may need to provide them with a copy of the new keys.
Here are six types of lock to look out for:
- 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock - a good quality lock will have a British Standard Kite Mark and the code BS3621 - according to Yale these locks offer the maximum security for wooden doors
- Key operated multipoint lock - these are most often found on uPVC doors and when locked, bolts the door into the frame
- Rim automatic lock - this lock fits on the inside of the door with a handle on the front and is often used in addition to other locks on a door for extra security
- Top and bottom key operated lock for patio doors - if you have patio doors in your home you should ensure they are fitted with locks on both the top and bottom
- Window lock - when looking for home insurance you may find insurers expect your windows to have key operated locks
- Central rail key operated lock for patio or French doors - this is fitted to the central rail on patio doors and gives the doors multi-lock points
Photographs courtesy of PPM Locksmiths, Cardiff and Yale