Unfortunately home burglary offences are a fact of life in the UK, with almost 276,000 break-ins recorded in 2022/23. There are plenty of steps that can be taken to avoid your home becoming one of statistics.
Installing a burglar alarm and other home security is the best way to help prevent burglaries, but it also helps to be aware of some of the most common techniques used by thieves. By understanding how their minds operate, you will be able to remain vigilant for any security lapses that they may take advantage of. Here are some factors to consider.
- Signs that a property is empty or isolated
A professional burglar will target unoccupied or isolated properties simply because it is easier to enter them undetected. If you are going away or have a second home to protect, it’s worth asking a neighbour to keep an eye on things such as mail piling up in the letterbox or curtains being drawn in the evening.
Do not be tempted to leave a spare key hidden anywhere however, as burglars know where to look no matter how obscure you might think the hiding place is. Instead, leave keys with trusted neighbours or friends, or consider installing a keysafe system.
Alternatively, you could set a light on an automatic timer switch to come in the evenings to help the home appear occupied. Other measures you can take to help the house look occupied include ensuring that the garden looks tidy and well maintained.
Overgrown hedges are not only a clue that the property is vacant, but they also provide cover for intruders.
- No visible security measures
Visible security features such as CCTV cameras and burglar alarms provide a deterrent to intruders, as well as an early warning system for any breaches of security. They can be integrated into a centralised security system if necessary, such as access control, fire alarms, and so on, to provide full monitoring protection at the touch of a button.
- Readily accessible tools or objects
Opportunist thieves will often look out for easy ways to gain access to a property. For example, they may take tools from an unlocked shed or that have been left lying around in the garden and use them to smash window or door glazing.
Be careful to keep items such as ladders, chairs, and wheelie bins well away from boundary walls, and preferably locked in a shed or garage overnight.
- Sussing out a property
Professional thieves will sometimes carry out premeditated burglaries. They may do this by tracking social media accounts to gather information about when homeowners are away on holiday, or by visiting the property in the guise of a salesman or tradesperson.
Therefore you should be careful about who can view your social media accounts, and always ask for ID if a stranger calls at the door.
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