Act quickly to change locks when moving house
Dean, from AWC Home Improvements, was burgled as he moved into his new house. His first action was top change the old locks for Ultion locks and that’s why he is still living there with his partner.
“Straight away, we put Ultion in and to be honest that’s the only reason we have stayed where we are. My partner wanted to move house the day we were burgled, and said to me, ‘let’s go, I don’t want to live here any more’ and it was only through me showing her an Ultion and say(ing) they (the burglars) aren’t going to get in through our house again, that convinced her to stay.”
“realistically the likelihood my my house being broken into now with the camera, laminated glass, Ultion locks, composite doors; the reality is that it would be easier to take the brickwork out. Who’s going to do that?”
In his own words this is Dean’s story and his advise to anyone moving home.
We were burgled while we waited for new doors
“We moved into a new house, and I’d ordered new front and back door with Ultion on; but in the gap between us moving in and them being delivered I got broken into through the back door. They snapped the handle and they snapped the lock. To this day I carry them around in my bag with me so people can see what happened.
They came around the back of the house. We were in bed; the neighbour’s CCTV picked up a timeline of events. they were stalking the house at about 1.30am but they came into the house about half past two in the morning. We didn’t hear a thing; they walked through the house, took my car keys and left through the front door. An hour and a half later they came back in through the same door. They had no worries about the fact that I might be waiting up for them, or the police may have been there. They came in, took my partners keys and drover her car off as well. We didn’t hear a thing. The first thing we knew about out was in the morning when both keys were gone and the back door was shut. The handle was still there on the inside, you wouldn’t have known. We were looking around thinking, how did they get in?
We tried the back door and realised it was open and we saw that there was no handle on the outside and there was no lock.
The burglars took our cars, my partner’s engagement ring and cash
I had a brand new Seat Leon and my partner has a two year old Mini. They took my partner’s engagement ring and a handbag. It wasn’t nice.
The police were excellent to be fair. She was a community police officer. they came and dusted for prints and they said immediately that you could see glove marks and they wouldn’t get anything from it. They even took the bottom half of the handle in case it had prints. They searched everywhere for any prints and there was nothing. We never saw the cars again.
I tell a lie; we never saw the mini again. My car was found three months later, ten minutes down the road and parked outside an address. It had golf clubs in the back. Do the maths you can imagine what it was being used for. The police said it was a pool car for a gang.
I’ll never be burgled again
Everyone thinks it’s never going to happen to them and I certainly thought that. I was in the process of upgrading and I thought in the meantime I’m not going to upgrade the locks because I’m getting new locks with the new doors. Obviously, a barrel for a UPVC door is different for a composite door so I thought I wouldn’t buy two sets off barrels. Stupid decision because the price it cost me even on the insurance premium, it would have bough four new locks and I’d have still had my car. Stpid really. But you live and learn.
It’s because we have Ultion locks that my partner and I stayed in our home
Straightaway after we were burgled, I put Ultion locks in. We put in Solidor composite doors, front and back, and we’ve put in Ultion front and back. We’ve also put in laminated glass on the bottom floor of the house. No one is coming through that either. We feel now that we can sleep at night and are happy to stay there knowing that the house is as secure as its going to get without putting a roller shutter on the front of the house.
We had a security light, but the burglars ripped it off the wall. I think they had been there earlier in the dyad they had unscrewed it and taken it off the wall. Things we’ve done other than the doors and barrels; we’ve bought a relatively cheap camera system. I think it was only £70 but the important thing is that if anyone comes outside the front or the back of the house, at any time of day, I get an alert on my phone. I didn’t have that before and it’s a cheap deterrent. If I was advising anyone and I do advise everyone that even if they have a cheap UPVC door, just put an Ultion in. If you put an Ultion in, you make your house less desirable for someone who just wants to snap the lock and get in. I tell everyone that. I have gone through each of my family members to make sure tat now they have an Ultion in.
The biggest trap people fall into is “thinking burglary won’t happen to me.”
The biggest trap that we fall into, and I fell into this is that ‘it won’t happen to me’. I live in a mid terrace in the middle of ten other houses, you’d think that you’d have strength in numbers and people would see them. On the CCTV footage the first thing they tried was the front door. I’ve got a streetlight outside my house and it’s on a busy main road and the first thing they tried at half past one in the morning was my front door. They don’t care. Another thing I say to my friends and family, is that if you are going to have nice things, which we all like, nice cars, nice houses and nice things inside the houses, then protect them. Protect them. Do everything in your power to make sure that nobody is taking it off you. It sounds awful but the only way someone is getting my car now or any of my possessions is by physically taking them off me when I’ out in the street. And if that’s the case, that’s the case. But you’ve got to do everything in your power to protect yourself and your belongings, haven’t you?
The things we’ve done are: a steering lock on both cars; outside lighting which we had anyway but we’ve put that back up. A relatively cheap camera system that alerts me when anyone comes inside the house. Ultion locks, composite doors and laminated glass. I think if you’ve done that what more can you realistically do? To be honest knowing what I know about windows and doors, I would feel massively confident just having an Ultion in and maybe laminated glass. You know with an Ultion they aren’t getting in. I always say this to customers, if they get in through an Ultion, the customer gets £2000 in cash. How much more confident do you think Ultion could be? Even just putting an Ultion in may be enough to protect them. Customers do ask me one question though, “what do I do if I lock myself out?” I say “you’ll have to smash a window because you won’t get through the lock.” But if you have to smash a window, it will likely only be once in a lifetime.
On the day I move house next time, I will take a load of Ultion with me and change the locks the same day
I won’t be broken into again. We get married next year and we are looking to move into something bigger. The first thing I will do it take a load of Ultions with me the day I move in. and they will be in all the doors. From there I might look to upgrade the doors and upgrade the glass. But the first things on everyone’s priority list should be the lock.
It won’t happen to me again. I’m determined of that. I think you can say with almost 100% confidence that it won’t happen again. Because if you do the correct things there is no reason why you would be burgled. Realistically the likelihood of my house being broken into now, with the camera, the laminated glass, Ultion locks, composite doors; the reality is that it would be easier to take the brickwork out. Who’s going to do that? they’ll just go next door. And all this ‘it won’t happen to me’ we see people all the time whose cars have been taken. The gangs use them as pool cars. So if a gang is using a pool car, they need it to be inconspicuous and run of the mill; they won’t steal a premium car for that. They need get away cars and pool cars that they can potter about in and no police will bat an eye. No one is safe unless they make themselves safe.
Gangs burgle homes as quietly as possible, and the most silent way is through the lock
The feedback that we have got back from the police is that these people are gangs. It’s organised people. These aren’t just people taking the TV. They come in quickly, as silently as they can while you are in bed or throughout the day. We had a customer not too long ago who left his door unlocked because he was working in his garage. They went through his front door, took his car keys and drove off in his car. He stood there and watched them drive away!
One thing I went with at home is the slam shut mechanism on the front door. If someone comes to the door and we are not sure of them, we can slam the door shut and it’s locked. Particularly when we go to bed, I have a routine. I check the front door, check the back door, check the downstairs windows and then I go to bed. I don’t have to check the front door anymore because I know that if its shut, it’s locked/. I don’t worry about that door anymore.
Going back to gangs, the quicker and more silent they can do it is what they want. the easiest way to do that is through the lock. Windows make a load of noise. You’ll never pry a window open, that’s never going to happen.
AWC Home Improvements only fit Ultion three star locks
For me as a company we made the decision not to put a one-star barrel out there. How could I sell a French door for example, or any door with a barrel that can be snapped easily to a little old lady or someone that is vulnerable. I couldn’t do it. I genuinely couldn’t sleep at night if I’d sold someone that thinking ‘ah well I’ve got my money.’ We decided as a business that’s not what we do. Yes, it costs us a bit more money to put an Ultion on a door, but it’s money well spent.
People need to get out of the mentality ‘it won’t happen to me’. If a burglar can get in, they will
People need to get out of the mentality that it won’t happen to me. I go to customer’s houses sometimes and they keep their doors unlocked with the keys in the back of the door. It blows my mind every time and I have conversations with them where I am saying ‘look after yourself’. the key to all of this is don’t regret something that you could have spent £40 on because I can tell you know that your insurance preimum will go up more than that. Mine did. I know that know. I’m living proof of it.
Living with the after-affects of being burgled
I’m living proof of having to buy another engagement ring and having to buy new cars in a market where car prices have gone through the roof. I had a brand-new car. To get a brand-new car on the finance deal I had at the time, it had gone up by £200 a month. So now, I’ve ended up with a ten year old diesel. And my car was lovely it was a Seat Cupra Leon 2l petrol. Absolutely amazing. I loved it and I’d treated myself to this car. I’d been looking at it for a while and I thought I’m going to do it, I’m going to have it and then that happened. My partner had only had her car for four months before it got taken.
I’m still living with the implications of being burgled now. At first, I was bothered about every bump in the night. I’m not bothered about that now because I am aware of how secure mu house is and importantly so is my partner. But in terms of the financial repercussions, it’s a pain. The insurance company would pay to repair my door, but I bought two new doors front and back. If I hadn’t been doing that anyway, I would have done. I wanted the most secure door on the market. The insurance company didn’t pay for my new locks, I did. The insurance company didn’t pay for me to put new glass in the windows, I did. Insurance companies only do like for like, so realistically that’s like me welcoming the burglars back into my house. And that’s not going to happen.
You go through a mix of emotions when you get broken into. It’s not a nice thing at all. I went through the emotion of thinking ‘I’m never buying a high performance car ever again; I’m just going to have a cheap run about, hence me having the car I have now to be honest.’ Now, a few months down the line of digesting it, I’ve realised no one is getting into my house, it’s like Fort Knox. So I can have nice things again and I don’t need to worry about it. But the emotional stuff you go through, anyone would go through. It’s not very nice.
Burglars will come through you as well as your house to get what they want
One thing the police said that did scare me, was that if burglars were willing to come back after an hour and a half and my partner hadn’t left her keys downstairs, the police said the likelihood is they would have come upstairs. Then they are coming through you for your keys, not just your house. That statement alone was enough for me to think ‘don’t be a statistic’. I’ll never be a statistic ever again. It will not happen to me again. I can tell you that now. Even to the point that I’ve put a three-star padlock on my shed keyed alike with my doors.
How to keep insurance premiums low to help with the cost of living
With the cost of living crisis, insurance premiums are going up. The only way to stop insurance premiums is to stop burglary and the only way you can do that is to protect your house yourself. You’ve got to stop the burglars getting in. Ultimately if they get in your insurance premiums will go up. With the cost of living no one can afford higher bills. When I told the insurance company I had three star barrels, they said it would bring my insurance premium down.
Ultion Keeps AWC customer safe after door blow torched
At AWC we had a customer who had their door blow torched, which the insurance company covered the cost of a new door. Importantly though, the burglars didn’t get in. Ultion did its job. Everything fell off the front of the door, the handle fell off the front and the exterior handle fell off. The Ultion slave fell out, which is what it’s meant to do. They could get inside. That’s the most important thing. The lady called us and said she thought the dog had scared them off. But when we went around, she realised that she could still lock and unlock the door. She realised that it was the lock that has saved her, that she’d spent the extra £30 on to get the Ultion cylinder and she was over the moon. Alright she’s had to have a new door. Ot was probably the cheapest door you can buy, a full panel UPVC door. Nothing hard or fast about it. It wasn’t the most secure door on the market, but the burglars didn’t het in because it had an Ultion in it.
There was another one in a similar area to where I live, which is a nice enough area. They snapped the handle and the slave but they didn’t get in because the Ultion barrel had done it’s job.
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