What are the best ways to secure my valuables?
There are a number of things you can do to prevent your valuable items being stolen. Although you can minimise the chances of your bicycle, motorbike, trailer or other item being stolen, a professional thief with the right equipment and time to use it will usually be successful. The trick is to make it a lot of hassle, and easier for him to go elsewhere.
- Use high quality security products - use a high quality chain and padlock to chain your valuables to a high quality ground anchor. There are lots of inferior products on the market and the thieves know which ones are easy to attack. A chain and lock without an anchor achieves almost nothing - you need to secure valuables to something solid.
- Chain your items up carefully - don't leave the chain trailing on the floor and ensure that the padlock is also raised up above the floor to make it hard for the thief to attack.
- Preferably park your vehicle in a secure building or garage. If you can't do this, try and leave it in a well-lit area where there is a high chance that a thief will be disturbed.
- Ideally fit an alarm and use a security marking device.
- Lock up your tools - don't make it easy for a thief by leaving angle-grinders, drills and such like lying around in your garage! Even a spade in your shed can be used as a lever to prise open a window. Lock the door!
- Chain bicycles, ATVs and motorcycles through the frame where possible. If you can't do this, chain tightly around the vehicle itself rather than through a wheel - remember a motorcycle or bicycle without a wheel is still worth a lot of money for parts. Don't use a part of the ATV frame that is bolted on - the thief can easily undo the bolts! The Anti-Pinch Pin may be useful in these situations.
- Keep the thief outside - Use good quality door security to prevent a thief getting anywhere near your property, if possible. If he can get inside your building, he may cause a lot more damage even if he is unsuccessful at stealing your property. If it's a shed, be sure that the hinges on the door are properly secured, as well as the hasp & staple and padlock on the other side - the Beef-Up Kit may be helpful.
- Avoid using a cable lock if possible - Some items are awkwardly shaped such that it is impractical to secure them with a chain, but you should remember that thieves find it easy to cut cable locks with hand tools. Cable locks can prevent an opportunistic theft but not much more. Bicycle theft is very common, particularly when they've been locked with just a cable lock. Chains are much harder to attack.
- Cover your property - use a protective cover outdoors, and even in your garage - don't make it easy for casual observers to see what valuable things you have stored there. A bland cover is much better than one with a desirable brand name emblazened across it!
- Be aware of who is around. Look out for people following you home from work or from race meetings - they could come back later to steal your bikes or equipment.
- Use a ground anchor inside your van for race bicycles, motorbikes, and expensive equipment such as concrete mixers, ATVs and ride-on mowers. A lot of property is stolen while on the move - don't think security is only required at home!
- Register your bicycles and other valuables with an organisation such as immobilise.com.
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How do criminals think? Is my house more or less vulnerable?
This information has been moved to our Criminal Perspectives Advice page.
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Where can I get advice about security?
There is a lot of information on our links page. A good place to start is your local Crime Reduction Officer - the police know what local criminals are stealing, and what techniques they are using.
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How do I know that the security device I am buying is any good?
Read more about Sold Secure here. Look at independent product reviews in our shopping cart and customer testimonials.
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Is security too expensive?
It might seem expensive to purchase security for your vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles, trailers and so on. But imagine the costs to you if it were stolen? There is the cost of increased insurance premiums. There is the cost of losing your no claims bonus. Some off-road vehicles and other items are difficult to insure - so you'd have to replace it out of your own pocket if it were stolen.
There's also the hassle of having to replace your pride and joy.
There is also the emotional aspect of losing something you value.
Some insurers already offer discounts for use of Sold Secure and other types of security product. This can save you money towards the cost of your security.
Police guidance is that you should aim to spend 10-20% of the value of your item on security.
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What about caravans?
Theft of caravans is a big and growing problem in the UK. The Torc Ground Anchor is Sold Secure Gold approved for caravans as well as in all other test categories.
We would recommend that you use the best possible lock and chain in conjunction with a Torc Ground Anchor to deter caravan thieves. The easy installation of the Torc Ground Anchor is a bonus and the heaviness of the Protector 16mm and 19mm chains and the large Squire padlocks is not much of an issue in relation to caravans so you can enjoy good security relatively easily. Again, make sure that you put the chain through the chassis of the caravan.
Some insurance companies will offer a discount if you employ a Sold Secure approved ground anchor/lock/chain combination on your caravan.
The Caravan Club offers advice and services to caravan users. (Note: some content is restricted to club members only.)
Calor offer more general caravan security advice.
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