If you’ve ever suffered a burglary, you’ll know how traumatic it can be. Of course, if you’ve got contents insurance, you’re covered for the items that are stolen.
But the thought that someone has broken into your home and invaded your personal space can leave additional, emotional scars. And they can last for quite a while.
There are around 192,000 burglaries in England and Wales each year and your chances of having your home broken into are about 1 in 43. In a place like Essex, more than 500 cases of burglary are recorded each month.
At Lockout 247, we often give homeowners advice about how to reduce their risk of burglary. While it starts with having strong locks on doors and windows, there’s a lot you can do to reduce your risk.
Several factors can make you more likely to be a target of burglary, including your location and the local crime rate. Here’s some advice from our expert team on what you should be looking at to make your home as secure as possible.
Your House Is More Vulnerable During the Day
While most people think that burglaries take place at night or in the early hours, most of them happen during the day. That’s because most of us are out at work, the kids are at school and even other houses on your street are less likely to have someone home. In short, burglars prefer to do their work when there is no one in the house.
More People Leave Their Doors Unlocked Than You Think
It’s an astounding fact that many people leave home with doors unlocked or a window or two open. That happens more often than we think, for example, when we pop down to the shops or the local garage for a few supplies. Get into the habit of locking doors and windows when you leave – if someone is watching your home, they’ll quickly get to understand where your vulnerabilities lie.
Signs That You Are Away
Whether you’re on holiday or staying overnight with friends and family, you must reduce the signs that you are away. Clear signals for any burglar are homes that are dark at night and the build-up of postal deliveries when you lift the letter box and have a look in. Believe it or not, some local businesses may even check social media to see if you are away and posting photos from the Algarve.
Accessibility and Low Visibility
One thing burglars will look for is how accessible your home is and how likely they are to be seen. If your property backs onto a wooded area, for example, it can be relatively easy for someone to climb the fence and gain access without the neighbours being aware. It’s important to look at areas such as the garden and side access and determine how easy they are for a burglar to get into. The more difficult you can make it, the better.
Valuables On Display
If you’ve got your curtains open and your brand new 50-inch OLED TV is on display, then you are more likely to attract attention from a passing burglar. You shouldn’t have your laptop on clear display by your office window, either. If a thief knows there are valuables worth taking, then they are likely to invest extra time in surveying your property and deciding whether it’s a good risk or not.
You Don’t Have an Alarm
In theory, if you have an alarm system for your home it should reduce the risk of someone breaking in. There are a few caveats to this, however.
First, the alarm system needs to be visible, otherwise, the burglar may well chance their arm and break in. The age of an alarm system and how well it is maintained is also important – if it looks old and a little rusty, a burglar can also decide it’s worth the risk.
Security systems are not as expensive as they used to be and you can include cameras that may well act as a further deterrent. They’re worth looking at as a deterrent and can be installed relatively quickly.
How to Reduce Your Chance of Being Burgled
Most burglars want low-risk and easy access so when it comes to updating your home security you need to bear this in mind. Here are the main things to consider.
- If you lose your keys consider changing your locks: You may just think you’ve dropped your keys somewhere but if someone local has picked them up they may be considering a visit to your home.
- Don’t tell everyone you’re off on holiday. The more people you tell that you’re going to be away, the more likely someone will see it as an opportunity.
- Keep a car in the driveway. If you are away for a while and have a driveway, invite your neighbour to park in the space to make it seem as if someone is home. Another alternative is to ask someone to house-sit while you are away.
- Don’t allow newspapers and mail to build up. Any sign that you are away from home for a long period can give a burglar confidence that they are safe to break in. If you can, get your neighbour to pick up your mail.
- Install home security cameras. From video doorbells to wall cameras, there are many different options for home security. A lot of these nowadays can be paired with a device like a smartphone so you can see what’s going on at your property wherever you are in the world.
- Reduce access through the garden. If there is easy access to the back of your property, then it’s important to find ways to make this more difficult for any burglar.
Finally, always close and lock doors and windows when you leave the house, even if it’s only for a short time.
Updating Your Doors, Windows and Locks
It’s worth reviewing your existing doors and windows and their locking mechanisms once in a while. Today’s new locks are highly secure and changing an old door can not only improve your security in an instant but also give you much better peace of mind.
If you want to update or need repairs for whatever reason, contact the expert team at Lockout 247 to see how we can help.