Safeguard your stuff useful hints to keep your stuff safe

Beat Burglar Bill with these useful hints and tips:

  • Keep valuables out of sight
  • Close and lock your windows and doors
  • Take your keys to bed with you at night
  • Have you locked your shed or garage?
  • Think about fitting a burglar alarm and security lighting.


Items like mobiles, laptops and mp3 players are easy for thieves to sell on, which makes them popular items to steal. Try to protect and safeguard your property.

Record serial numbers and unique reference codes of your electronic goods and valuables on Immobilise - the free online database. If you are a victim of a burglary, simply update the status of the items to 'stolen'. This will help the police to try and trace your property more easily.

In addition, use the following advice to try and protect your property:

  • Don't leave valuables on display in your car or vehicle or at home near windows.
  • Do not leave cash or jewellery lying around.
  • Keep all valuables out of sight, hidden and in a safe place.

Laptops/ tablets

  • Use an ultraviolet (UV) pen to mark both the battery and inside the battery cover of your laptop or tablet with your postcode and either your house number or the first two initials of your house name.
  • Create a strong password.
  • Perform a full disk encryption (FDE) to help protect sensitive data stored inside your laptop or tablet PC.

Smart phones

  • Register your phone on Immobilise. If your phone is 'lost or stolen' tick the 'lost or stolen' box. Your telephone will then be searchable by registered second hand dealers and the police across the UK. Make sure you include the IMEI number when you register your phone. This is your phone’s unique number and the first thing the police will check for when recovering property. You can find this by pressing the following keys on your handset: *#06#
  • To make your telephone useless to a thief simply contact your service provider if it is lost or stolen and ask them to block the phone. This will prevent your mobile from working on any network.
  • Always use a pin code to protect your mobile phone from any unauthorised use.
  • If you have an iPhone or iPad download the ‘Find my iPhone, iPad or Mac’ – available from the Apple store
  • If you are using an Android phone or laptop, search the internet for ‘free downloadable tracking apps’.

Cash and jewellery

  • Do not leave cash or jewellery lying around. Keep all valuables out of sight, hidden and in a safe place.
  • Take photos of all your valuable jewellery.
  • Consider engraving it.


  • Invest in a good quality lock – hardened steel D-shaped locks and sturdy chain locks are recommended.
  • If possible use two different types of lock.
  • Secure your bike, even at home.
  • Take a photo of it and register it on Immobilise including a written record of its description.

Home entertainment systems

  • Register the serial number of your TV/ DVD and audio equipment at Immobilise.
  • Mark your postcode on the back with a UV pen.

Don’t lose a shedload

Take some advice from our friends at Safer and Stronger Communities and make sure you don’t lose a shed load:

  • Make sure all garden tools are locked away to prevent them being used by an offender to break into your shed, garage or even your home.
  • Securely lock valuable items to heavy equipment within the shed to make them more cumbersome to steal.
  • Lock ladders securely if you store them in your shed.
  • Make sure your garage or shed door is secured by suitable hasp / staple and padlock. Hasp and staple should be able to be secured by a bolt as well as screws. Padlock(s) should be rated to BS EN 12320. If possible fit marine-grade padlocks.
  • Consider fitting a ground anchor to lock items to. A bucket filled with cement and a chain sunk into it while it sets can be a cheap and easy alternative.
  • Make the back garden a difficult area to access by using hostile planting or a prickly hedge.
  • Is your shed in a good state of repair? If possible reinforce doors and fix broken panels or windows.
  • Using gravel can deter a thief as it makes a loud noise underfoot. It is a relatively cheap way of making your property more secure.
  • Consider a shed alarm, which are available from DIY stores.
  • If your garage or shed has a window, consider screening it from the inside by using an old pair of curtains, net curtains, security film or even a dustbin liner.
  • Mark all property within your shed or garage as a deterrent. Use a UV pen, paint or etch your postcode and house number onto the items.
  • As well as protecting property in sheds and garages you can also stop thieves stealing plants by using heavy plant pots which will be less desirable to walk off with.
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