The statistics for the number of burglaries per day in the UK are astonishing. Although there was a decline during the pandemic, as people return to work and holidays become possible again they are set to increase once more. Interestingly, just over one third of burglaries take place during the day, with the midnight till dawn slot not far behind. However, not surprisingly, more than half of all burglars enter your home through the front door, one third via the back door and one fifth go for a window, though rarely by damaging it. So what can you do to protect you, your property and your possessions? Here are a few simple ways to deter intruders:-
Lock, Stock and Barrel.
Although it sounds like an obvious solution, lock your doors! One third of burglars just walk straight in through the front door, without using force, so it is worth remembering to lock your doors when you enter or exit your home. Fitting a new door, or ensuring you have multiple visible locks, is also an ideal deterrent. UPVC doors should be fitted with a three-point multi-locking system, while patio doors should be fitted with top and bottom key-operated bolts, contact an installer for the most appropriate advice. It is also a good idea to check your exterior doors to establish if the frames are solid and the hinges are concealed. Installing doors with approved lock types certainly increases security, and as a result can reduce your home insurance premiums too.
Window of opportunity.
Depending on the style of windows you have, consider installing locks on them too, in particular windows on the ground floor. Pin locks will stop intruders from lifting a window, though key operated locks are best where possible. Inspect the condition of your windows frequently, rotten frames and rusty locks allow for easy access and are vulnerable to force. As with your doors, if you can prove to your insurer that your windows are secure, your insurance premiums may decrease.
You can greatly improve your home’s security by installing an alarm system. The available options are broad and diverse, from DIY window sensors to fully monitored CCTV, you should have no issue finding a solution to suit your budget and your property. Simply advertising your home is fitted with an alarm by putting up signs can even be beneficial. However signs referring to dogs, from a security point of view, are not as discouraging as you would think, as burglars know simple tricks to distract pets and homes with dogs are less likely to have alarms. Once again, a professionally-installed alarm system could considerably lessen your home insurance costs.
Vacant for Vacation.
Burglars often target empty homes; occupants can lead to complications. They also like to operate under the cover of darkness for the same furtive reasons. Consider installing motion-sensing lighting, smart timers for lights and even timers for appliances like TV’s, as these can be discouraging for thieves. Making sure you cancel regular deliveries and asking a neighbour to move any visible post while you are away is also recommended to give the illusion that you are at home. Don’t be tempted to post pictures of your holiday on social media either, this is equivalent to advertising your absence and everyone will be just as envious the week after you get home.
Hide and Seek.
If you have tall bushes in front of your property they may offer you more privacy but they also allow burglars the same protection. Prune tall plants at the front of your property or plant smaller shrubs to offer the same kerb appeal without appealing to burglars. While you are outside, remember to tidy away garden tools too, ladders or other useful items can be too tempting if left on display, make sure you secure your shed or outbuildings as well, the contents may be worthless but not useless.
Burglars tend to be opportunistic, so leaving your valuable items on display is equivalent to a shop window for thieves, and it is advisable to invest in a home safe if you own any particularly valuable items; don’t forget to let your insurer know if you do. Depending on the position of your letterbox, store your keys away from your front door to avoid ‘letterbox fishing’, and especially keep your car keys in a less than obvious place as many criminals will break in just to steal your car.
Usually we do not consider the security of our homes until it is too late. Try standing outside your property and considering how you might attempt to access, it may also save you time searching for a solution when you lock yourself out! Unfortunately gaining access will lead to damage and although the average value of items stolen during a burglary is thankfully usually low, the cost of repairing damage caused can be five times as high.
Home insurance is about protecting what is probably your greatest asset and investment, and the ability to recover quickly should something dreadful happen such as fire, theft, flood, storm or subsidence. Understanding your insurance policy and what it covers can be complicated, that is why using an insurance specialist is recommended to make sure you have the right cover for the right price.
It doesn’t cost you anything to let us quote, but think about what it could save you.