One of the most prevalent crimes today is home burglary and the main reason is that many people fail to incorporate even the most basic security measures into their lives, leaving their homes vulnerable to an invasion.
It’s a fact that most burglars are keen on the easy targets because they certainly don’t want to get caught. Therefore, it makes sense to imagine just for a moment what kind of things a professional burglar is on the lookout for, which may mean that your home has a big green light shining over it.
This would be my personal burglar’s checklist:
- No home security system would be my number one top item. A house with no security alarm is also probably less secure in other ways.
- Unlocked doors –a burglar is going to have to get close to your house to know that you are in the habit of leaving doors unlocked but believe me when I say burglars do case potential targets and will watch to see if you habitually go and weed the back garden without locking the front door.
- Poor quality doors are likely to have inadequate locks too – fit solid doors and quality locks.
- Patio doors can be easy entry points to access, especially when they are fitted with less substantial hardware. Make sure your patio doors have secure glazing and locking systems and keep them locked when you are not in the house.
- Open windows are easy entry points, particularly when they have no locks – as there is no noise to be made breaking a pane of glass to gain access.
- Open garage doors – It may be more convenient to leave the garage door open whilst you are cleaning the car or mowing the lawn but it is also giving a potential burglar a clear view of what kind of tools you have; tools which can be useful to break into the main house or simply walk off with. Power tools, in particular, can be very easy items to sell on.
- Spare keys – it is literally astonishing how many people still think that a spare key can be safely hidden under a plant pot or handily placed rock. Why not just keep a spare with a friendly neighbour or buy a numerical key-safe at the very least and place it out of view.
- Poor lighting – if your house lacks exterior lighting you are providing useful cover in rhe shadows to keep the burglar hidden from view whilst they check out how vulnerable your house actually is.
- Along with poor or non-existent lighting, burglars like properties which provide places to hide - keep bushes, hedges and trees trimmed.
- Having a strict routine can be bad for your home security. Obviously, people have to work to a routine generally but having a regular evening routine can be a great thing for a burglar. If he/she knows that you always go to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays they will know they have free reign during those periods if your house is unoccupied and has security issues.
- Burglars always want a speedy break-in – gain access, gather up saleable items and leave quickly and quietly. Large items like TVs are far less vulnerable than small tablets, phones, wallets and laptops. Keep cash, jewellery and electrical gadgets secured away in a home safe bolted to the floor or wall whenever possible and at least out of sight the rest of the time.
- Annual holidays can be a prime target time - cancel your post and consider leaving a car on the drive when you go away, even if it’s only for a weekend. Above all else, never share holiday snaps or information on social media until you return back home. Professional burglars can be tech savvy these days and monitor homeowner’s movements through social media. Unfortunately, many of us forget to keep checking that our profiles are secure and that our ‘friends’ are actually people we know rather than random strangers.
Hopefully, these few tips will help to make you less of a target to a burglar. Take a look around your home with a view to establishing exactly how easy it would be to get in and remove your valuables. Once you have an idea of how vulnerable your property is, you can then begin to take steps to change that situation for the better.