Warning after thefts from key safes lead to burglaries

PEOPLE who have key safes outside their homes are being asked to make sure they are fitted securely and positioned carefully.

The advice follows a couple of recent incidents in Thurrock whereby attempts were made to gain entry to properties by attempts to remove the safe.

Both incidents were at a Chadwell St Mary complex last week.

If you do have a key safe, ask yourself if you really need it, or would it be better to leave a key with a trusted person or neighbour?

Only if this is not practical should people consider using a key safe, but if you have to, follow the following advice from Essex Police.

While key safes can be extremely useful to relatives and carers of elderly or unwell people, like any other security product, they are only as good as the fixings that secure them. Ensure your key safe is securely fitted to a solid surface such as brickwork or concrete using the approved fittings.

Opt for a key safe that has been accredited to a recognised police certification authority such as Secured by Design. The only product currently achieving this accreditation is the Supra C500, details at www.keysafe.co.uk

Choose a key safe that is made from non-corrosive metal such as zinc alloy and that has anti-tampering features.
Opt for a key safe that allows a combination locking code more than five characters long including letters and numbers.

Make sure the safe is installed properly. Accredited suppliers can provide trained fitters or look for a fitter who is a member of the Master Locksmith Association (0800 7831498) or a trader from Trading Standards “Buy with Confidence” scheme (0845 4040506).

Think carefully about where you position the key safe. It should be fitted in a position that is out of the sight of passers-by and, if possible, away from the main door. If necessary obscure from sight with other furniture – a window box, mailbox, or plants for example.

If you think the locking code has been compromised, change the code straight away. It is also recommended the code is changed regularly to minimise the number of people who are aware of the current code.

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