Help to prevent a burglary in your home with these simple tips.
Whilst the number of burglaries decreased by 3% in 2015-16, there were still 400,361 cases reported in the UK.
Despite these high numbers, a survey undertaken by Co-Op Insurance found that 28% of adults in the UK took no measures to try and protect their property.
Many burglars are opportunists, only taking advantage if the situation arises. Don’t let them target your home – these 10 tips can help to prevent a burglary.
Lock Your Doors
No matter whether you’re out, at home or in your garden, you should always lock your doors and garage doors. Don’t forget to shut your windows at night, and lock them when you’re out.
Modern locks on windows and doors are usually fairly secure, but you could consider adding a deadbolt lock for extra security.
24% of people leave their doors unlocked when they’re at home, but burglaries are committed even when there’s someone at home. That can present an extra danger, as you don’t know if the criminal is armed. By locking your doors and windows, you’re taking a step against preventing a potential burglary.
Avoid "Checking in" on Facebook
We all love showing off about going on holiday on social media – what better way to make your friends jealous than by tagging yourself at the airport, and sharing your best holiday pictures?
The problem is, is you’re essentially advertising the fact that your home is empty, and that provides burglars with an opportunity to strike.
Other preventative measures you can take on social media include amending your privacy settings to private, so only your friends and followers can see what you post. If you’re suspicious of anyone, unfriend or block them – it’s just not worth taking the risk.
Upgrade Your Burglar Alarm
You may think your rusty, old alarm system is scaring burglars off, but actually, studies have shown that alarms only rank number 13 on the list of deterrents.
Besides, old burglar alarms don’t fool anyone. If anything, they highlight the fact that you don’t even use it.
Take a step towards preventing a burglary, and upgrade your alarm system to one that works – and use it. Burglars can strike at any time, so set your alarm whenever you’re out of the house, even if it’s only for an hour.
Modern alarms often enable you to set them in certain areas of the house, so when you go to bed, set the alarm downstairs.
Hide Your Keys
Hiding your spare keys under the doormat or in a strategically-placed plant pot is not recommended.
For burglars who are looking to strike, that’s one of the first places they’ll look for your spare key. In 2014, 6,000 burglaries were committed by intruders using keys to gain access to the property.
29% of Brits admit to having a spare key hidden in their property, with the bin, under a garden ornament, and under a rock or stone making up the top five hiding places.
If you’re going to hide them in the house, make sure your keys are kept out of sight – no hanging them on a hook, or leaving them in a dish by the door. If in doubt, leave them with a trusted neighbour.
Keep Valuables Hidden
The same goes for your valuables: if you leave your laptop or tablet in plain view of passers-by, you could be encouraging a break-in.
Stowing valuables safely away is just one of the ways you can prevent a burglary. Cash, jewellery and technology devices are amongst the most popular items burglars steal, so hide all of these.
Install Outdoor Lights
Motion-activated security lights have been revealed as a deterrent for burglars for two reasons.
Firstly, the light switching on could alert you or your neighbours, resulting in someone calling the police. Secondly, the lights will make it much easier to see the intruder, meaning there’s a higher chance of them being caught.
If you don’t already have motion-sensitive outdoor lights, it’s worth getting them installed.
Control Lights Remotely
Staying away for the night, or going on holiday are both opportunities for burglars to strike. Combat this by tricking them into thinking you’re at home – after all, if you haven’t checked in to the airport on Facebook, no one will be the wiser!
You can now control your lights remotely from your phone. There are several apps like Easybulb, the Home App for Apple Users, and SmartThings for Samsung users that allow you to turn your lights on and off in your home, or switch them on at specified times.
Leaving them on from 6pm-11pm for instance, will make it look like you’re at home, helping to prevent a burglary.
Cancel Regular Deliveries
Do you have milk or newspapers delivered to your door? When they start to pile up by your front door, that’s the only sign an opportunist needs to strike.
If you’re going on holiday, don’t forget to cancel your deliveries, so passers-by – and potential burglars – aren’t made aware about the emptiness of your house.
Keep Your Car on the Drive
A parked car on your driveway can seriously decrease the chance of being burgled, as it looks like someone is at home.
If you commute to work by public transport, leaving your car parked on the drive as opposed to on the road can help to deter burglars.
This works when you’re on holiday too: if you get a lift to the airport, then keep your car parked on the driveway.
If you have pets that need looking after, getting a trusted friend or family member to see them can also help to deter opportunists, as it means there’s someone in the house, and another car parked outside.
CCTV has been cited as the number one deterrent for all burglars, making it extremely effective when preventing a crime.
If an opportunist were to try and strike, you could turn the footage into the police, With , 9/10 burglars currently never identified, CCTV can help to reduce this number.
Don’t forget to make sure it’s filming – should you be unfortunate enough to be a victim of burglary, you want the evidence so you can catch the intruder! We can help with CCTV, if you are looking to get it installed.
The good thing is that the number of burglaries reduced by 3% in 2015/16. With these 10 steps, you can actively help to prevent burglaries, reducing this figure even more. Contact us for further information on how you can prevent burglaries.