Detail of the lock and key on a shagreen box

For detailed advice on home security locks and alarm systems, BADA recommends contacting Banham or Chubb or your local police Crime Prevention.

Specialist art insurance brokers and insurers will also give advice on security and often offer a home visiting service to give personal advice.

Windows and doors

All external doors need to be secured with at least one 5, 6 or 7 lever mortice or rim deadlock. Look for the BS 3621 system for the correct level of protection.

Windows are vulnerable to forced entry and should be fitted with key operated locks throughout your home.

French windows and sliding doors require locks to the top, bottom and centre. Most modern units come with built-in locks.

Lighting and alarms

Security lighting, which is activated automatically by movement is a great deterrent to burglars, as is gravel on driveways which causes noise.

Alarms are essential for contents values in excess of £100,000. Your alarm should be linked to a central monitoring station, and it is advisable to fit fire and flood sensors for added security.

We recommend using an alarm company which are members of the National Security Inspectorate (NSI)

External security

Outside garden furniture and statuary should be secured by being cemented or chained, and gardens can have alarm sensors fitted to detect intruders.

Driveway gates, CCTV systems and door entry systems are advisable for larger properties.

Keys and safes

Have your keys registered with a company so that they may be returned to you if lost and never leave them within reach of a letterbox or cat flap.

Safes can be installed into a wall, or fixed to a floor. Low spec safes are only suitable for approximately £30,000 of jewellery, so check with your insurance company.

If you have a large quantity of jewellery, watches and other small valuables, consider having two safes, to split the value between them.

Unsolicited visitors

Never allow strangers into your house unless you are expecting them and always ask to see and examine any identification documents.

If you are considering having an item valued or want to sell it, do not deal with doorstep callers, speak to a BADA member for professional advice.

Photographs and descriptions

Photographs and accurate descriptions are a major asset in helping the police recover stolen property.

Here are some tips to bear in mind when photographing fine art or antiques:

• Use a digital camera or camera phone with at least eight megapixels.
• Indicate size by including a ruler, tape measure or coin in the photograph.
• Make sure your object is in focus
• Photograph your item from multiple angles to capture every detail
• If your item is a set, take images of each element of the set
• Photograph glassware and silverware against a dark background.
• Store the photographs on a separate hard drive, in case your laptop is stolen
• If your home contains high value antiques, consider filming each room of your house to strengthen any potential insurance claims