Homeowners are being advised to check their windows and doors are secure for the winter.

Target Windows, which has showrooms in Stone and Uttoxeter, is offering some top security tips as part of National Home Security Month this October.

Guy Basnett, director of the family-run business, said windows and doors should be Secured by Design Accredited. This is a national police crime prevention initiative which encourages manufacturers of products like doors and windows to attain SBD’s Police Preferred Specification.

“SBD products are more robust to resist physical attack and as a result they last longer and require less maintenance,” he said.

“Thieves often target homes over the winter months, when the nights are darker, so it is important to take a good look at the condition of windows and doors.

“Old frames, especially timber ones, are likely to have been saturated by rain and mould, and over the years their defence against the elements lessens, which can weaken the frames.

“Old glazing can often lead to condensation building up in your windows, revealing gaps in the panels and making it easier for thieves to break in.”

Target Windows is offering free Secured by Design quality products for the price of standard windows and doors, via Profile 22, throughout October. For more information call 01782 398021 or pop into a Target Windows showroom in Stone or Uttoxeter.

Top SBD safety tips:

*If your budget is limited, focus on doors, locks, windows and perhaps a small safe for your valuables.

*Choose a supplier by: looking for products with the Secured by Design Police Preferred Specification logo, as these meet high standards.

*When buying a new a door it is better to buy a new door set, the complete assembled frame and door, certified to British Standard PAS 24-1 ‘Doors of Enhanced Security’.

*If refurbishing a door check that the frame is firmly fixed and sturdy. If it is weak or rotten, replace it.

*Check that the door hinges are sturdy and secured with strong, long screws.

*If your door is PVCu or Composite then it should be fitted with a Multipoint lock.

*Consider fitting a cage or restrictor on your letterbox to prevent thieves from putting their hands or gadgets through the letterbox.

*Fit a door viewer so you can identify people before opening the door.

*Window locks are essential on ground floors and above flat roofs. They can be retro fitted to many windows.

*Glazing may be protected from being smashed with the addition of accredited adhesive window film.

*Patio doors and conservatories are vulnerable so if not secure install additional locks and security blocks to stop lifting or forced entry.

*When buying patio doors ask for the sliding section to be on the inside and for anti-lift blocks. Multi-locking systems are recommended or have mortise security bolts with removable keys at the top and bottom of both doors.