It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are – whether you’re renting a room, living mortgage-free in a house your great-aunt left you in her will, or buying your first home via a help to buy scheme, being burgled is something most people fear.
That fear isn’t unfounded.
Figures show there were over 267,000 burglaries in England and Wales in 2020/2021.
Despite that figure being over 116,000 fewer burglaries than in the previous year (possibly because COVID forced many people to work at home, either for their employer or to start a home business), home security is still something that needs to be taken seriously.
If you’re renting, it’s up to your landlord to make their property secure, but if you’re a homeowner, here are some tips to help make your home more secure and prevent burglary.
Install a working alarm
You might think you’re being savvy and saving money by simply buying a dummy burglar alarm box and sticking it to the front of your property.
‘This’ll fool any burglars into thinking my home is alarmed,’ you might think.
You’d think wrong.
Burglars aren’t stupid and can tell a dummy box from a real one. For one thing, if you have a reputable alarm company install and maintain your alarm, they’ll service it every year and wipe down the box when they’ve finished.
People who buy dummy boxes tend to stick them on the wall then forget about them, leaving them to get dirty, which is a giveaway for any passing burglar.
Upgrade your external doors
If you’ve got old, wooden doors, upgrade them. New doors are designed with security in mind and will be strengthened and built with up-to-date locking systems.
Old doors with just a Yale lock, for example, are easy to get into with a credit card or even just a gentle shove. New doors come with multi-point locking systems that meet security standards.
New external doors won’t just give you greater security, they’ll also freshen up the appearance of your home and insulate it better, saving you money on your heating bills.
Don’t leave keys in locks
If you’re in the habit of leaving your door keys in the front door and the back door key in the back door, this is a habit you need to break. There’s nothing burglars like more than knowing exactly where the keys to a property are.
Front door keys in the lock can be obtained through the letterbox, making it easy for the burglar to let themselves in without making any noise (burglars hate making noise).
We all leave those little keys in the windows but it’s something we really shouldn’t do. It not only makes it easier for the burglar to gain entry but you run the risk of your insurance company not paying out if they find out you left the keys in the lock.
Don’t leave your calendar where burglars can see it
Speaking of letting burglars see where you keep things, don’t leave your calendar in full view of the back window (or other window for that matter).
Families everywhere keep a calendar in the kitchen where they mark down holidays, days out, meetings and every other occasion when they’ll be out of the house.
Burglars can read and the last thing you want to do is let them know the exact dates and times when the house will be empty.
Being burgled goes further than just losing your possessions. People who have been burgled report feeling violated and often need counselling afterwards.
However, with a few upgrades to your home security to prevent burglary, hopefully it won’t happen to you.