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Quotecheap UK – Postcode your property

Postcoding your possessions and making them safe
Have you been given anything of sentimental value, which would be impossible to replace?

Your possessions can mean a lot to you, you will have worked hard to get them. But to a burglar they are just another way of making cash.

It is far better to protect your home against the burglars and thieves. If a thief did break in to your home and steal things, would you be able to describe them fully and accurately to the police? You may think yes course I could but it is not as easy as it sounds the best thing to do is to take some pictures of each room and individual pictures of any thing of value if you have a digital camera put the pictures on a CD and keep it at a friends so you have a safe copy.

Every week, property worth hundreds pounds is recovered by your local police and not returned to its rightful owners, simply because it can’t be properly identified. Or people have not reported it stolen.

If you have post-coded your property it will deters thieves. They find postcoded property dangerous to handle and difficult to dispose of as no one wants it. It also helps the police to return your property if it is found to the right full owner.

Postcode your valuables
All you need to do is to get an ultra-violet pen and put your postcode, plus your house or flat number or the first two letters of your house name, This will provides a simple and unique way of identifying your property. A person living at 56 Smith Street, hometown CP33 9TG for example would use CP33 9TG 56.

Marking your property
There are several ways to mark your property depending on the type of object you want to mark. The alternatives are:

Ultra Violet Marking
An Ultra-Violet (UV) pen can only be seen by using a UV lamp. Only use UV marking when other methods would reduce the value of the object. Remember that the mark can fade in time, especially when exposed to sunlight so it needs renewing regularly.

Engraving or etching
Engraving or etching is suitable for many hard surfaces and can be done using an electric engraving tool or a hand engraver. This method leaves a visible and permanent mark.

Ceramic Marking
Ceramic marking pens have been developed to mark china, glass or any glazed surface. They do not cut or scratch the surface but leave a permanent mark.

Punching
You can mark heavier metal items such as lawn mowers, bikes, garden tools with a hammer and a set of punches.

Where you mark your property is very important – particularly if you are using the engraving method. If you want the mark to be out of sight, choose somewhere behind or underneath the article – but not somewhere so hidden that the police would not be able to find it.

Try to mark a surface that cannot be removed without spoiling the appearance or performance of the article.

You can get easy-to-use property marking kits from Homebase or Screwfix for less than £7.00.

Keep a record of your property
Marking things like jewellery or antiques is difficult and could reduce their value. You should get expert advice in these cases.

You can still protect items that can’t be marked by keeping a record of them. A simple and effective way of doing this is to photograph each item, preferably with a digital camera in colour, paying special attention to any distinguishing marks such as initials or crests which may be used to identify the item. Take the photograph against a plain background and include a ruler to give an idea of size. A digital camera is good to use as you can zoom in and out once the picture has been taken and you can keep a record on CD.

We have put together a record form (WORD or EXCELL) so that you can keep a list of all the items you have in your house. This list is also useful to figure out how much to insure you home contents for, it will take some time to complete but it is worth the time should you are ever burgled it is the best record you could have.

We highly recommend you give a second copy of the list and the photographs to a member of you family or close friend to look after. Keep your own list safe at all times.

Advertising the fact that your property has been marked may warn off thieves. You can do this by displaying a ‘Coded for Keeps’ sticker anywhere a burglar might get in, for example on the doors and windows of your home.
For more advice on marking or protecting your property, contact your local police station. For a copy of Your Practical Guide to Crime Prevention contact the Crime Prevention Officer at your local police station or write to:

Crime Prevention Publicity
Home Office
Room 155
50 Queen Anne’s Gate
London
SW1H 9AT

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