Every 45 seconds there is an attempted burglary somewhere in the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics. In total there were 701,000 cases of domestic burglary between April 2015 and March 2016. On average the monetary cost to the homeowner is well over £3000.
That’s not to mention the lasting emotional damage. Burglary can leave you feeling frustrated and angry at your home being penetrated by thieves. And even worse it can leave you feeling vulnerable and isolated in the future, especially if you live alone.
So how do you ensure your home is always protected against intruders? It’s not a case of metal shutters, drawbridge and turrets – just a few simple measures and a bit of ancient and modern technology.
Your best friend against determined thieves is a locked door. Burglars are opportunistic criminals, looking for doors and ground floor windows left open. So be sure that every time you leave home you lock up properly.
The Metropolitan Police recommend both a mortice and deadlocking rim lock on your front door and a mortice sash lock and two bolts on your back. And use a key to secure all windows before you go out, or use added security tapes or clips. Lots of windows available today come with the ‘Secured by Design’ sticker approved by the Police.
An alarm system is one of the best deterrents against intruders. Remember thieves are normally passing by and looking for anywhere unguarded to burgle. When they see an alarm system they tend to walk on by. So don’t simply get an alarm installed but be sure to have a clear bell box visible on the front and back of your home.
Surveillance cameras are a modern approach towards securing your home. Smart cameras can be set up to monitor doorways and windows. They can be integrated with alarm systems and you can log into the camera remotely via an app on your phone. Today these smart cameras aren’t too expensive, but for a cost-effective option there’s always a dummy camera that can be set up to deter thieves.
A security light is a simple but effective method of deterring thieves. Burglars are often high on adrenaline when they decide to enter a home. A sudden light startles them as they move towards your home at night and makes it harder for them to act undetected.
Finally, there are other simple things like ensuring your front wall isn’t so high that intruders can’t be seen from the street. You can keep dense or prickly plants close to your garden perimeter to deter anyone climbing over. A gravel driveway prevents a silent approach for thieves.
And make friends with your neighbours and keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously nearby. They’ll do the same for you when you’re away.