Burglaries are scarily common within the UK – with a new break-in occurring every 106 seconds. This amounted to 267,000 burglaries in 2021, with 817 per day, and 34 per hour. An average burglary takes less than ten minutes, yet can cost an average of £2,856 per household.
Despite such terrifying statistics, only 32% of homeowners in the UK own burglar alarms, and 40% own a security camera. Simply being home is not a sufficient deterrent for burglars, as 64.1% of successful residential burglaries happened whilst someone was inside their property. So how do you secure your property?
This blog provides the top 10 methods for securing your property, in the hopes that you will have better peace of mind and can feel safe within your residential sanctuary.
Top 10 ways to secure your property:
1. Ensure all your windows and doors are locked
It may sound like the oldest trick in the book, but unlocked windows and doors are the easiest way for a burglar to gain entry to your home. Make sure to check that your doors and windows are fully locked before going out, or going to bed. It may seem over the top, but it is recommended to lock your front and back doors even whilst you are occupied in another room, or upstairs. Whilst you are busy elsewhere, a burglar may sneak in without you realising. In any case, it is better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to get into the habit of keeping your home secure by locking your windows and doors.
2. Make sure you’ve got two locks on your front door
Not only does having two locks add strength to your door to prevent it from getting kicked in, but they can also serve as a deterrent for robbers to approach in the first place. Opportunists will look at a row of houses and know they have a better chance of getting in if they have only one lock. There is no point in having two locks if you do not use them both, as thieves will come to your front door and use their feet to put pressure on your door to tell them whether the door has two locks in use.
3. Install a security camera
CCTV installation has many benefits when it comes to keeping your house secure. The sheer sight of a security camera is enough to be a deterrent to many burglars, as it suggests that your home is well-protected. However, if you are unfortunately a victim of burglary, then your CCTV installation can capture footage, which can be used to help you get justice. Modern CCTV cameras include high-definition footage and can feature night vision and vast hard drives to store lots of footage.
Nowadays, it is also possible to link your CCTV to your smartphones, tablets, or laptops, as a means of keeping an eye on your home irrespective of where you are based. Smart CCTV systems will even send an alert through to your mobile if they detect movement in or around your home.
4. Keep ladders and tools locked away
Tools, ladders, and other related objects can be used to assist with breaking into your home, therefore, it is better to keep them securely locked away. Thieves use ladders to climb and take a long look inside your home – to scope the value of your items and to access your house through upstairs windows.
It is integral that toys and bikes are locked away properly in your garage and shed. A high-quality, waterproof lock should be implemented to do this effectively. Bikes are of high value and can be used to help burglars escape, whereas toys and games can indicate that there are other valuable items inside the house.
5. Don’t answer the door if you’re unsure who’s there.
If you are not anticipating anybody to be knocking on your door, then it is best not to answer it. At the very least, if you are unsure of who it is, then you should answer the door with the chain on – as it’s common for older people to be targeted with door-knocking scams or distraction burglaries.
A distraction burglary occurs when one person is used to distract the homeowner at the front door, whilst an accomplice searches for another way into the home and proceeds to steal any valuables they can find.
If this was to become a regular occurrence for you, then the best way to avoid it is to ignore the door and call for the police. If you do choose to answer the door, then you should do the following:
- Only open the door with the chain on.
- Ask for a photo ID to prove that the person is who they claim to be.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions to see how they react.
- Don’t think twice about refusing entry and closing the door.
- Consider installing a peephole or video doorbell, as it allows you to see who is knocking without having to open the door.
6. Be careful with social media
Burglars will monitor social media to see something that might give them a window of opportunity. As a result, it is highly important that when you post on social media, you don’t give your details away.
It’s easy to forget that when you are uploading an image, your house could be in the background, as with other details. This could highlight your house number and the location of your belongings to social media onlookers. Make sure to also avoid publishing photos of your TV, jewellery, or bank card.
Similar care needs to be taken when making your profiles also. There is no requirement to share specific details such as your street name, so this should be avoided – as your details can be used to access some of your other online accounts and digital identities.
If you’re going on holiday, you should additionally avoid mentioning it on your profiles. A photo from the airport is essentially an announcement that your home is going to be vacant for several days at a time and can therefore be taken advantage of.
7. Install a burglar alarm
The sight of a burglar alarm in itself is a huge deterrent for any potential burglar. If a burglar was to enter your home, then an alarm reduces the likelihood that they will hang around to search for your valuables.
There are different types of burglar alarm installations to consider, each with its benefits and applications – depending on your personal preferences, your budget, where you live, what your home is like, and what level of protection and response you require. The different types of burglar alarms to consider are as follows:
(Makes a loud noise, but does not contact you or the police)
(Automatically dials your phone number, or the phone of a chosen friend or family member when the alarm is triggered)
(The alarm contacts you or loved ones when the alarm is triggered, either through a smartphone or tablet app)
(A monthly or annual fee is paid for a company to act, or call the police if the alarm is triggered)
8. Think about where you display things
Similar to social media, criminals are constantly scanning households for indicative information regarding the value of a household’s possessions, and the best opportunities to retrieve them. As a result, a great degree of caution should be implemented into what you have on show and displayed through your windows.
Burglars can read, and therefore, if you hang a calendar up in your kitchen facing a window, then your calendar is clearly documenting to robbers the dates that you are going to be away from the house – allowing them all the information they need to plan their future robbery down to a tee.
9. Invest in curtains
One way that you can better secure your property is to invest in curtains or any alternatives that may help you to obscure the things that are inside your home. If onlookers can easily see into the inside of your house, then they are given insights into the people who live there. This is especially true for festive seasons such as Christmas, as many houses will leave gifts on show, with many people showcasing their empty boxes outside as an advertisement for what they’ve got for Christmas, which could encourage thieves to take it upon themselves to invite themselves in.
10. Don’t display a ‘beware of the dog’ sticker
Having a pet is one of the most traditional means of securing your house, which is why many dog-owners like to emphasize this by purchasing a clear ‘beware of the dog’ sticker in their front window.
This is advised against nowadays, as it more often than not indicates to the burglar that they can gain entry to the property, as the owners most likely won’t have set their alarms if they’ve got a cat or a dog roaming about to set it off. It also highlights to burglars that you may have a cat or dog flap around the back of the house which they could use to aid their entry into your house.
Having a pet is still a valid way of securing your property and enhancing the safety of your home, It should simply not be advertised with ‘beware of’ stickers, for the above reasons.
As highlighted previously, burglaries are a scarily common occurrence in the UK – with over 267,000 burglaries occurring in 2021. Despite this, only 32% of homeowners have a burglar alarm installed, even though they are reported to be one of the biggest deterrents.
If you would like to know more about how you can be proactive against burglary, or perhaps would like to purchase a trusted home security system, then please do not hesitate to get in touch! Our experienced and highly capable team would love to hear from you and would be more than happy to help out wherever we can.