Property owners need to make sure they are putting their metal gates to good use this winter to avoid falling victim to theft, one organisation has stressed.

Both homeowners and businesses are especially vulnerable at this time of year as the nights are longer, noted the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).

James Kelly, chief executive of the BSIA, explained that the threat level can be reduced by taking a few simple steps to enhance security.

"It is important to ensure that all gates, doors and windows are properly locked at all times. This applies both to sites left vacant or to occupied properties," he commented.

Mr Kelly urged people to also check that locks on metal gates are working properly and if not, that they are replaced sooner rather than later.

Any property that will be left vacant for a prolonged period of time should ensure the premises appears occupied to deter any thieves.

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