Imagine returning home to find your rooms completely ransacked. You can see the obvious things are missing – the TV, the game console. You run upstairs to check the bedroom, but, sure enough – your family heirlooms and keepsakes have been taken too.
Not only is burglary a costly crime, it’s an invasive and emotionally damaging one. Every home owner should be aware of the best burglary prevention tips.
That’s why we’ve compiled six effective ways that you can safeguard your property.
6 burglary prevention tips
- Lock your windows and doors
You may feel you’ve heard this advice over and over, but it’s still as important as ever. When you’re rushing to get ready for work, you may forget you’ve left the window open in the bathroom or kitchen. This is a very simple mistake that has awful consequences! Lock your windows and doors tightly. Make sure none of your keys can be seen from any windowsills – on either the interior or exterior of your property. Replace any old doors if possible. If you think your door could be easily kicked open, a burglar may just test it.
Key tip: Lock your windows and doors before leaving the home or before going to bed. Replace any doors or windows that look weakened by age. Do not leave keys visible on any window sill.
- Install a burglar alarm
If your home looks secure and protected, it will not be easy to take advantage of. This will deter potential thieves whether you’re home or not. You should take all precautions into account, but installing a burglar alarm can only benefit your property’s safety.
Key tip: Get a burglar alarm installed to avoid looking like an easy target.
- Keep keys out of sight
After a burglar has chosen to target your home, all is not lost. You still may be able to make their job hard enough to deter them. Burglars want a quick snoop, grab and get-away. At this point, anything that could stall their time is a great asset for prevention. Keep any house or garage keys out of plain sight and out of obvious places! Yes, the burglar will look under your doormat or plant pot for a spare key.
Key tip: Some burglars have been known to use extendable fishing rods to reach your keys. They will push the rod slowly into your house, through your letterbox and hook your keys onto the end, before pulling it back. A burglar will then let themselves into your property without raising any alarm.
- Light up your home
Burglars do not like the spot light. Exterior lighting can work by highlighting their presence. Security lighting types can differ, but common choices are the invisible infra-red and timed lights. The invisible infra-red lights will turn on whenever something is detected within a certain range. Timed lighting will simply turn on at the time it has been set to. This is for exposing anyone who may be lurking around your property after nightfall.
Note: The Metropolitan Police state, ‘Lighting should be seen as an aid, but on its own it is not sufficient to deter a burglar.’
- Property exterior
Here are some things to consider about your property exterior, and how it could be affecting your vulnerability.
- Gravel paths prevent a silent approach
- High hedges and shrubs may provide a screen for a burglar wanting to conceal himself
- High gates can still be scaled and taken advantage of by athletic thieves
- Weak trellising as a fence topper may be seen as too risky for a burglar to climb
- Keep cars and bikes locked in your garage
- Make sure your garages and sheds are locked with heavy padlocks
- The Met Police advise to always use coach-bolt fixings through the door and frame
Protect your home during the night
- After-dark and unoccupied protection
One of the most important tips to avoid burglary while you’re out, is to keep the home looking occupied. Close your curtains or blinds, before you leave at night. You’d rather a burglar think you are watching TV, than have them look through the window to see what’s on offer to steal. Leave lights on when you are not home, a light that can be seen shining from outside is good. If not, as long as there’s a faint glow coming from some rooms – this should still help deter a would-be criminal. An easy way of doing this is to set a timer to your lights.
To avoid being burgled, follow these six steps to home security. For further prevention techniques, click here.
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