According to a report from the Office for National Statistics, there’s an attempted burglary on a private residence every 45 seconds in the UK. What’s worse is that every 76 seconds that burglary is successful. Though many homeowners take all precautions when securing their residence, there are still plenty who leave their homes vulnerable to break-ins. Thankfully, you can reduce the chances of your home becoming a target by following a few simple tips that will help secure your property and ward off any unwelcome visitors.
1. Security Cameras
CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras outside your home not only deter would-be burglars from attempting to break into your home, they also record any and all evidence should the thieves successfully enter the premises. Even dummy cameras, fake surveillance cameras that don’t actually work, have been known to help reduce crime.
2. Strong Doors
It goes without saying that you should lock your doors at night, but ensuring your home is equipped with strong ones makes it even more secure. Doors with large glass windows leave your interior exposed to prying eyes, plus they’re really easy to break. Heavy doors, however, make breaking in more difficult, and for thieves who want to be in and out quick, they can be enough to thwart the whole attempt.
3. uPVC Windows
Similar to having strong doors, ensuring your home has secure, high-quality windows means you can reduce your chances of burglary. Old windows are easy to pop in and out or break altogether, but new uPVC windows are safe and secure and can be locked tight—something you should be doing every night if they’re located on the ground floor.
4. Automatic Timers or Motion Sensors
Timers and sensors are a great way to make your home looked lived in, even when it’s not. Especially for those who are leaving for holidays or going out of town for the night, automatic lights not only brighten up dark areas where burglars may try to enter, they make people think someone is around to turn them on. The same can be said for sensor lights or sounds.
5. Have a Neighbour Check In
Automatic lights may not be enough to trick burglars if you’re gone from your home too long. In these cases, informing a trustful neighbour that you’ll be out of town ensures someone will be keeping an eye on the place. Similarly, they may even help out by letting themselves in to water the plants or open up the garage door for a bit to make the house look like it’s lived in.
6. Fences or Gates
For the same reason having strong doors is a great idea to protect your home, installing a fence around your premises will make it even more difficult for burglars to enter your home. For thieves that want to be in and out quickly, a fence can be a major roadblock and more reason not to attempt it. Similarly, a gate at your entrance will make for a difficult entry.
7. Don’t Leave a Spare Key
Hiding a spare key might seem like a good idea for when you’re not around and someone needs to get in, but it’s such a common practice that would-be burglars are already wise to the trick. The usual spots are under the doormat, a potted plant or even inside of a fake rock, but they’re the first places thieves check before trying other methods.
8. Be Subtle
If you’ve got a big screen TV or a brand new guitar, don’t leave their boxes and packaging at the curb with your other recycling and garbage. These items attract thieves and leaving around proof of expensive goods only works to inform them of what to expect inside.
9. Inform your local (PCSO) Police community support officer.
If you’re leaving for holidays for a week or two, all the methods above should be utilised to prevent break-ins and burglary. But to be on the safe side, especially if you’re leaving for an extended period, it doesn’t hurt to inform your local Police community support officer beforehand. They’ll make a note of it the next time they patrol the area.
10. Lock Up
This goes without saying. Locking all your doors and windows is the first and most important step in securing your home and preventing break-ins. When you leave, be sure to move any valuables or easily stolen items inside before locking, too—you don’t want to find your patio furniture or bikes missing when you come back.
By following these tips, you can secure your home and prevent future burglary attempts in the best way possible. If you follow them all, you can be sure your things are safe the next time you leave for the day or even week.