Did you know that in the UK a burglary takes place every 108 seconds?1 There are ways in which to decrease the chances of you becoming a victim of burglary, so here are a few security tips to help you keep your home safe and secure. 

CCTV Systems – Having a CCTV System is a strong deterrent for burglars but can also be used to collect evidence if a crime is committed. Systems can now be viewed remotely so that you can have eyes on your property from anywhere in the world. 

Intruder Alarm – Installing an Intruder Alarm to your home is a good way to show that you take security seriously. Intruder Alarm Systems can be designed specifically for each home to offer the best coverage and keep your home secure. These also allow you to have different settings so whether you are out of the house or sleeping soundly upstairs, your system is keeping your home and family safe. Systems can be controlled remotely through an App on your Smart device. Owning an Intruder Alarm usually helps to reduce the cost of home insurance, so it is worth checking with your Insurance Provider. 

Does your home have an alarm box on the outside that appears aged or showing details of a company that is no longer trading? This could indicate to a burglar that your home has a system that is not maintained or no longer working! 

Notes on the Door – If you are expecting a delivery but may not be home never leave a note on the door. Ask a friend or neighbour to wait for the parcel or arrange for the parcel to be delivered somewhere else or at a different time. If leaving a note is the only option, consider leaving the note so that the delivery driver will see it as he walks away from your door. This reduces the chance of a person with criminal intentions seeing the note from the road. Advertising that no one is home could trigger criminal activity. 

Forgetting your Keys – If you are the type of person that sometimes leaves your house key at home and become stuck outside, avoid the temptation to use the ‘spare key under the mat’ or the ‘spare key under the plant pot’ tactic. A burglar could effortlessly find a key and have full access to walk straight into your home. Consider asking a neighbour you trust to look after a spare key for you. 

Hide Valuables – Never leave valuables such as laptops, mobile phones, or jewellery in plain sight. Many burglaries are opportunistic – meaning that the burglar did not plan to steal something but sees the chance and takes it. Get into the habit of keeping expensive items inside draws and cupboards when they are not being used. 

Property Care – Keeping your home maintained will not just help with curb side appeal: Overgrown grass and bushes can send out a message that a homeowner is away or that the house is no longer occupied. Ensure that your property looks lived in. If you are going away for a week or two, cut the grass before you leave or ask your neighbour to give the lawn a once over if they are attending to their own.  

Rubbish Bins – It may seem a strange one, but its not uncommon for burglars to use your rubbish bin as an indication as it whether your home is a good target. Leaving packaging from expensive purchases on show is a pretty good indication that those expensive items are inside your home. Ensure that packaging is bagged or torn up so that it is unrecognisable to the opportunistic burglar. Similarly, leaving your bins out while you are on holiday shows that the house is unoccupied. Ask a friend or neighbour to bring in the bins for you and offer to do the same for them when they away. 

Know your Neighbours – Get to know those living around you. If you see something suspicious, make your neighbours aware – it can be extremely advantageous to having multiple eyes looking out for you and your property. 

Tools and Equipment – Ensure ladders and tools are put away in a safe place and not left laying around. Not only could tools be stolen, a ladder propped up against the house may be a welcome mat for a burglar to gain access. 

Timed Lighting – Consider the use of timers in your home. These can be used to turn on lights on, giving the impression that someone is home even if your house is empty. These can also be useful for televisions and radios. 

Flood Lights – Burglars love places to hide and would much rather target a home that is covered in darkness than one that is lit up like a Christmas tree. Flood lights can be used to light up the space outside your home. Motion detector lighting can be used so that the area is illuminated only when movement is detected. 

Window Foliage – When positioning plants on your property, be mindful of how these can be used to make burglaries as difficult as possible. Those with thorns, such as rose bushes, below a first floor window could discourage someone from attempting to break into your home this way.  

House Sitter – If you are going away on holiday or will be attending an event, consider hiring a house sitter. This can be particularly important for events that are advertised publicly such as funerals and weddings. Its likely that people will be aware that you will not be at home and may take advantage. 

Keep Windows Closed – If you are not at home or if you are sleeping, close as many windows as you can. It can be tempting to leave windows open, especially in warm weather, but for burglars this is a chance for them to steal what they want without even having to break their way in. Remember: Open windows are open invitations. 

Change the Locks – If you have lost a set of keys or are moving into a different house change the locks straight away! There is no way of knowing who might be able to access your home unless you can be sure that all keys are accounted for and in trustworthy hands. 

Gravel – A home with gravel can be a nightmare for burglars and is a great deterrent. Unwanted visitors will be unlikely to move about outside without making a noise.  

Calendars – Ensure that your schedule is not on show for the world to see. A passing burglar looking through the window could see exactly where you will be and when. Having the knowledge that the house will be unoccupied could mean that your home is a bigger target. Keep your family calendar somewhere out of view from the outside.  

Bonus Tip – If you are the last one leaving your home and you see someone suspicious walking around your neighbourhood, simply say ‘Good-bye’ loudly as you leave your house. It will give the impression that someone is still inside! Be sure to keep in contact with your neighbours and call the Police if you are concerned that criminal activity is happening.  

1 www.theecoexperts.co.uk/home-security/burglary-statistics

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