The latest UK crime statistics have been published and make for interesting reading for anyone concerned about their home security. In England and Wales, there were 233,194 residential burglaries in the 12 months to September 2020. Across the East Midlands, 16,787 home break-ins were recorded, 4,707 of which were in Nottinghamshire. The figures clearly show that while the figure has fallen significantly in the past five years, domestic burglary remains a big problem and homeowners still need to do more to keep their property and possessions secure.
An average break-in causes an estimated £688 worth of damages to property in the form of damaged windows, locks, doors, fences or alarm systems. This comes on top of the average cost of stolen items, which stands at £3,234. While suffering a break-in can prove expensive, it’s often the mental and emotional cost that takes more of a toll. For example, you may lose items of no real financial value to anyone else but have a personal or sentimental value that can’t be replaced. Suffering a break-in can also make you feel unsafe and uncomfortable in your own home.
So, if you’re concerned about crime in your local area and want to make your home more secure to protect your family and belongings, here are a few top tips.
While most home burglaries happen under cover of darkness, a surprisingly high 39% of domestic break-ins occur during the day. So, it pays to be vigilant at all times. Keeping your doors and windows secure is essential, as they are usually your first line of defence. You should regularly check that all the locks and hinges on your windows and doors work properly and haven’t suffered any excessive wear or damage. Windows should be opened only when necessary, and you should keep your external doors locked at all times, even when you’re at home.
Around 58% of UK home burglaries happen while someone is at home. These might be distraction crimes, or an intruder may, for example, enter your house downstairs while you are busy upstairs or in the garden. So, even when you are at home, it pays to be alert at all times.
Be wary of anyone suspicious knocking on your door. Consider installing CCTV that you can monitor while you are at home, as this will warn you of any trespassers and provide vital evidence if you need it. Motion sensor lights can also help deter opportunist thieves and give you an early warning when someone is on your property.
Windows and doors
As we said earlier, your windows and doors – particularly downstairs – are your first line of defence against would-be intruders. In around two-thirds of domestic burglaries, the offender gets in through a door, while windows are the main point of access in the other third.
So, bolstering your window and door security is critical. Make sure your locks are working correctly and you know how many sets of keys there are – if one goes missing or is unaccounted for, it’s probably best not to take the risk. For an additional level of protection, consider installing security shutters or grilles for windows or doors.
Protect your valuables
As we said earlier, the financial loss you suffer in a break-in can be significant. Thieves will usually look for valuables such as jewellery and handheld devices to steal, along with more expensive electrical equipment that they can sell on. However, your personal information such as bank statements, driving licenses and passports are also extremely valuable to criminals, who can use them to commit fraud or cybercrime. While it can be tricky to secure big and bulky electrical items like flat-screen TVs, a home safe can help you protect smaller valuables and essential documents from being stolen during a break-in.
Do a home security audit
While you are checking your windows, doors and locks, it’s also a good idea to check over your other home security measures.
Does your external lighting work properly?
What about your alarm system or CCTV? When was the last time they were serviced?
You should take time to identify all access points – your windows and doors are the obvious ones, but what about garages, conservatories or patios?
It’s worth taking the time to do a thorough check to help identify any weak points in your security. Prevention is always better than cure. By investing a small amount in additional security now, it could save you lots of time, money and heartache in the long run.
Give Grays Locksmiths a call
When it comes to home security, a few simple steps can go a long way. At Grays Locksmiths, we’re here to help. As a member of the Master Locksmiths Association, we’re highly regulated and fully accredited.
We don’t have a call-out charge, and there are no hidden costs. We’re here to give you simple, honest home security advice to help you protect your family and the things you love. So, if you are concerned about protecting your home or simply want some security advice for a bit of peace of mind, give us a call.
We care about all our customers and are happy to help you protect your home as best we can.
So, give us a call on 0115 942 2315, even if it’s just to ask us a question or talk about any security concerns you may have. We’d love to hear from you.