Property: How to burglar proof your home – 7 top tips from a reformed criminal
According to a poll of 1,561 respondents in October 2019, thousands of Brits revealed they were giving criminals a helping hand to break into their homes.The survey, commissioned by security experts ADT Fire & Security, found a third (31 percent) of people say they leave their windows open when no one is home.
A further 16 percent even leave the back door unlocked – giving intruders easy entry.
According to the police, homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures.
In most burglaries, criminals break into the home flat through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in.
While it’s also important to ensure you have good, strong window locks to avoid these from being smashed for a burglar to gain entry.
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Police.UK offered the following tips:
- Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key)
- Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox)
- Install a visual burglar alarm (as part of a suite of prevention measures – a burglar alarm on its own will not prevent entry to your home)
- Install good outside lighting
- Get a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property
Lee Jasper, Head of Marketing and Product Solutions at ADT, urged homeowners to prioritise home safety.
He said: “It’s important that we take the necessary precautions against potential burglars.
“Making additions to your home such as installing double-locking mechanisms and deadbolts to front doors can make a significant difference.
“Investing in visible deterrents such as floodlight sensors or CCTV are also great solutions to deter intruders from even approaching your property in the first instance.”
“Examining patio doors to ensure they’re secure and investing in floodlight sensors in blind spots and dark corners are other solutions to deter intruders – this lessens the time they have to loiter outside your property.”
To get people to better consider their home security, reformed burglar Michael Fraser shared the top seven unexpected things to be aware of in order to burglar-proof your home.
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1. Highlighting valuables
While leaving your lights on may signal an occupied house to potential intruders, it’s also important to be mindful of where you are leaving lights on, as this can make valuable belongings more visible to thieves.
Make sure curtains or blinds are closed at night so that potential burglars don’t have a direct line of sight onto your valuables and the layout of your home
2. Calendar caution
Appointments and festive holidays listed on calendars will give potential intruders a window of opportunity to break into your home undisturbed.
Ensure that information on any calendars cannot be easily viewed through a window.
3. Letterbox fishing
Avoid the risk of burglars stealing valuable items from your home through your letterbox – such as keys lying on the side – by fitting a cage to the inside of your letterbox
4. Self-ie care
If a burglar has access to your name through old post or personal information, they can easily find your social media accounts too.
Sharing so-called holiday countdowns around holidays, or updates whilst you’re away is an open invitation for burglars to head into your home with the knowledge that they won’t be disturbed
5. Digital diligence
If you do have a digital alarm system, make sure that you are keeping it clean – if burglars know what digits you’re using, they can easily work out your password as people are more likely to start with lower numbers and work their way up the keypad when it comes to numerical patterns.
6. Bathroom basics
It’s easy for a burglar to ascertain which room is the bathroom because of the windows usually being obscured.
Showering without other lights on in your home gives burglars a clear indication that they will have the time to grab some valuables from your home and make a quick exit whilst you’re distracted
7. Double locking is key
Just one lock on a door isn’t enough. Burglars can use their foot to check whether there is a deadlock on the door.
If the door moves more than two millimetres, they will immediately know that your door isn’t double-locked, giving them easier access to your property.
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