We all know that it is vital that your front door is secured properly as this is the way that many burglars will attempt to enter your property. Most people will also know that the best way to do this is to employ a local locksmith to fit strong, reliable British Standard locks. However, fewer people will be aware of the potential security problems that can be caused by their innocent-looking letterbox.
What is letterbox burglary?
Letterbox burglary is when a burglar uses a letterbox on the front door to either break into a property or steal keys for a car that is parked outside the property. They will either push their hand through the letterbox and reach up to try and unlock the door from the inside or they will insert a fishing rod gadget with a hook on the end to ‘fish’ for keys left lying around. Both of these methods can be very effective ways of quickly and quietly gaining access to your property or stealing your car. This type of burglar doesn’t even require the skills necessary to pick or break a lock.
Ways to prevent letterbox burglary
- Never leave house keys or car keys in plain sight. This is particularly important if you have a front door with glazed panels. However, even if your door is completely solid you should look through your letterbox from the outside to see what a potential burglar will be able to see. Any keys or wallets that are visible from this vantage point should be moved and stored elsewhere.
- Replace your current letterbox for one which comes with a draught excluder. The rows of soft nylon bristles round the edge of the gap help in two ways. Firstly they keep the warmth in and cold out and secondly they prevent potential burglars from being able to see through the gap and into your home.
- Buy and fit a proper anti-burglar letterbox. The latest models of anti-vandal, anti-snap letterboxes have gone through very rigorous testing to ensure that they comply with the latest security standards.
- Install a letterbox restrictor. These simple but effective devices are easy to install and work by restricting how much the inner flap can open. This prevents hands or rods being pushed or manoeuvred through your letterbox.
- Remove your letterbox altogether and install an external mailbox instead. This will not be practical for most people due to the cost but may be worth considering if you are planning on replacing your front door sometime soon.
Unfortunately, burglars are always looking for new and easy ways to get access to your property. It is essential to keep on top of all areas of your home security to ensure that you don’t suffer as a result of their latest dodgy technique.