In the UK in 2018 there were 424,846 burglaries. Statistically speaking, your home is more likely to be burgled if you are female, aged 35-44, living in a flat in an urban area. However, the data does show that burglary happens pretty much to everyone in any sort of property, in any area of the country.
When our homes are broken into the financial loss can be substantial. But more than that, the emotional impact is huge. Your safe sanctuary has been violated. People report no longer feeling safe in their own home. Many people blame themselves if they left a window or door unsecured. Children, in particular, feel frightened.
Prevention is better than cure, so follow these home security essentials to reduce your chances of being burgled.
Check Your Windows, Doors, and Outbuildings
Don’t make it easy for the thief. Every few weeks, do a thorough check of your windows and doors to make sure they are not damaged.
Signs to look for include faulty latches or hinges, rot around the frames, loose bricks, and cracks.
Apart from looking for damage, check they are secure. Your doors should be solid, not hollow. Lean or push your door to assess whether or not someone could kick your door in. If they could, consider having it replaced or buy a deadbolt for a cheaper alternative.
The majority of burglaries happen during the day when most people are out, but a dark house in the evenings is a dead giveaway no one is home.
Timers are inexpensive and readily available. You simply plug your devices into the timer and the timer into the wall. Then, set the timer. At the allocated time, your device will come on.
Rather than having the TV on all day, set the timer for it to come on for an hour or two a few times. Not only will it save electricity, but it will look more natural if anyone is watching your house.
If you plan on being out all evening at least have a couple of lamps set to come on.
Secure The Outside
A lot of burglaries that happen in the UK are from outside the house. Garden furniture, sports equipment, tools, and even plants go missing regularly from people’s gardens, sheds, and garages.
Be sure you keep anything you wouldn’t like to lose in a locked outbuilding. If you don’t, you might find your insurance won’t cover it. Plus, it makes it harder for the thief.
Get A Home Security System
Home security systems have come on a lot in the last few years. They are no longer prohibitively expensive. A good home security system will consist of a monitored burglar alarm, CCTV, and outside lights.
The benefit of a monitored burglar alarm is that someone is always ready to respond if there is an alarm at your property. Rather than wasting police time for false alerts, a monitoring station operative will assess the situation and send the police if it is necessary.
Whilst CCTV can act as a deterrent it does so much more than that. Firstly it means the chances of catching the thief are higher. But mainly it makes insurance claims run more smoothly.
Locking doors as you go out, or if you are in another part of the house is an absolute basic. If you are in the back garden, lock the front door! If you are popping to the neighbours, lock the doors!
Keep an eye out for strange people in your neighbourhood, especially if they are paying too much attention to yours or your neighbour’s house. Don’t be afraid to report prowlers to the police or neighbourhood watch.
Essentially make life difficult for burglars by taking basic steps and being vigilant.