From Doors To Dogs – How To Keep Opportunists At Bay
Burglaries are shockingly common in the UK, but what could you be doing to prevent your home from being targeted?
A home burglary takes place every 108 seconds according to data compiled by the Office for National Statistics. The average cost of this crime is £3,030 to the homeowner, but of course the emotional impact of having had your security compromised is much greater, particularly when you realise that someone is home during a shocking 58% of burglaries. Unfortunately, many homeowners look to improve their security systems after they’ve been the victim of theft. But with the knowledge that 63% of burglaries happen to homes that have no basic security system in place, it pays to be prepared. The question is, what type of security is most beneficial in deterring thieves?
Secure Your Doors and Windows
This may sound simple in comparison to some of the more advanced smart solutions out there, but the fact is that 67% of burglars break in through a door, and 21% are able to just waltz in as it’s unlocked. So, begin by locking your door, and make sure that your doors, both front and back, are solid – made from either strong timber, or a robust composite material. Your letterbox should have a guard attached to the back, to prevent thieves from fishing through it for keys or a handbag left by the door.
Don’t forget about your windows either. Close your windows when sleeping and don’t go upstairs during the day whilst leaving a ground floor window open. A locked uPVC window is the type most likely to prevent a burglary.
A survey of former burglars conducted by Co-Op Insurance, found CCTV to be the biggest deterrent. The panel revealed that most burglaries are the result of opportunism, where a thief simply wanders the streets until they find a property that appears unsecured. CCTV acts as a strong deterrent, as no criminals will want to leave evidence of themselves behind, and going to lengths to obscure their face and mode of transport is likely to attract attention from anyone passing by. CCTV is also really effective if your home is undergoing some renovation works. As building projects are underway, you may have parts of your property that are not quite secure and can perhaps be accessed by scaffolding for example. Using CCTV as your primary construction security method will be a red flag to any criminals lurking nearby.
A Barking Dog
Second only to CCTV, the sound of a dog barking is likely to put a burglar off. The average burglary takes an average of 10 minutes, but with an angry, territorial dog present, not only will the criminal have to contend with the possibility of being attacked, but the noise will also likely attract a lot of attention in the process. Thieves are more likely to look for another opportunity if they discover a dog is home.
A burglar alarm is perhaps the most obvious choice for your home security, and yet not necessarily a security system that would deter all burglars. Remember that an alarm will not prevent entry to your home, and that when they do go off, particularly during the day, neighbouring residents are more likely to believe that a test or fault has taken place, rather than it being triggered by crime.
The best security strategy for your home is to create a suite of prevention methods – don’t rely on a single system but instead be proactive in warding off criminals.