From April 2015 to March 2016, the Office of National Statistics reported there were 701,000 counts of domestic burglary throughout England and Wales.
With these high figures, it is all the more important for homeowners to take measures to ensure their home isn’t susceptible to a break-in. Take a look at our guide on making your home less appealing to a potential burglar.
Being the main entry point to your home, it is imperative your doors can withstand any unauthorised attempt to access your home as well as following best practice to deter a potential burglar – here are a few tips to ensure your door doesn’t become an easy target.
- Consider a security grille – these robust grilles add a second layer of security to any interior or exterior door, these are fully customisable to prevent affecting the aesthetics of the house.
- Fit a chain or latch to your door, these allow the door to be opened partially whilst preventing somebody forcing it open alternatively, opt for a viewer when choosing your door.
- Be smart – keep any valuables or keys out of reach of your letterbox, an internal cover plate will offer extra protection. Do not leave a key under a plant pot in the front garden!
- Cat flaps – If you have a cat flap in your back door, make sure that back door keys are not left in the door or hanging anywhere near to the cat flap. It is very easy for someone to reach through the cat flap with wire and grab the keys.
- Consider a steel security door – these doors are almost impenetrable to a novice burglar – offering numerous security features, they can’t be forced open with a crowbar.
- Display deterrent stickers – display stickers in your doors that cite ‘this house is alarmed’ or neighbourhood watch stickers, these are a cost effective deterrent to burglars.
Windows are another common entry point for thieves, an open window can mean free entry for an unwelcome intruder, use these tips to ensure your window doesn’t make for an easy access point. Read your home insurance policy very carefully to make sure that your window locks are adequate for the policy.
- Install a security grille – If you like to leave your windows open to keep cool a security grille can be installed ensuring a high level of security without affecting the ventilation.
- Keep keys out of sight – If your windows are key-operated ensure that the keys are out of sight and unreachable should the window be broken.
- Install double glazed windows – These are much more resistant to common break-in methods compared to single glazed, and whilst not impenetrable, the noise that will be made in the attempted break-in is more likely to wake the occupant.
- Traditional sash windows – these are very easy to open with a crowbar or knife blade if they are not fitted with the correct screw locks.
- Ladders – Gardens are very easy to get into by jumping over walls or fences in the night. Don’t leave any ladders in your back garden which would enable someone to get up to a window upstairs. Alternatively, if you have nowhere to store your ladder, consider investing in a ladder lock to keep it secure.
- Have a visible alarm system – Even if you cannot afford a full alarm system, replica boxes are available for as little as £20, giving the impression to a potential burglar that your house is alarmed.
Garden Sheds and Outhouses
Many people neglect the security of their shed or outbuilding and with summer here, people will be out enjoying the longer days, taking bikes out and tending their gardens, here are a few ways to keep your shed and its contents safe:
- Install a padlock – These simple solutions are cheap and effective, padlocks provide a solid layer of security to your garden shed or outbuilding door.
- Install lighting – having a motion sensor light in both your front and back garden is an effective deterrent for thieves. Be conscious of the position of your lighting so it doesn’t affect oncoming traffic or shine through your neighbour’s
- Cover your valuables – If you store gardening equipment or bikes in your shed or outbuilding, ensure they are kept out of sight, and consider covering up the windows when not in use.
- Keep your side gate locked – f you have a side gate, be sure to keep it locked when not in use.
Inside Your Home
If a burglar does make it inside your home, there are a number of precautions to put in place to ensure the amount of valuables available to them is restricted:
- Domestic safes – Domestic safes are often easily concealable, very secure and can be bolted to the floor, they can be used to effectively secure valuables such as cash, jewellery, sensitive documents and car keys. Be sure to protect your combination code and change it routinely
- Always set your alarm – If you have an alarm system, be sure to set it every time you leave the house, it’s also good practice to change these codes routinely. Most house alarms can be triggered by internal doors being opened.
- Security grilles – These can also be used on any interior door of your home, using security grilles enables you to secure a room in your house to home your valuables.
Going On Holiday?
One survey suggests that 75% of convicted burglars used social media to target their victims, as people become use social media more they are becoming prone to sharing information that could result in a break in, take a look at our guide to best social media practise whilst on holiday here. If you are going away, here are a few things to consider to keep your home safe:
- Ideally get a friend to come and house sit but if that isn’t possible, designate a key to a trusted neighbour or family member, have them visit your house, ensure no post is left at the front door and occasionally park their car on your driveway.
- Set up timers for the lighting and appliances in your home to give the impression to a potential burglar that somebody is in.
- Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries that might be due whilst you are away.
- Set your alarm system and check all your windows and doors are locked before you leave.
More Help and Information
If you’re worried about your home’s security, we offer a wide range of services for domestic customers including replacement of old locks following a break-in, replacing old or broken locks, adding additional security to existing doors and windows and much more.
For more information concerning what might be best for your particular circumstances give our friendly team a call on 0117 967 4994.