In 2022, there were 192,060 reported home burglaries in the UK, averaging 526 burglaries daily. These disheartening statistics underscore the importance of taking proactive steps to protect our homes and possessions.
The saying "prevention is better than cure" holds true. While the police work diligently to combat burglary, there are several things we can do too to decrease the risk of us falling victim to this invasive crime.
Understand the Burglar's Approach
Before delving into security advice, it's crucial to comprehend how burglars operate. Burglars are drawn to properties they can observe. They excel at identifying vulnerabilities, often starting with the front entrance. Surprisingly, even when properties have two locks, burglars often find that only one is engaged. They test this by pushing the door; if it moves more than 2mm, they know the second lock isn't engaged. The main lock, typically a Yale or cylinder lock, is relatively easy to bypass.
Burglars also often peer through letterboxes to assess whether a property is unoccupied or if there are easily accessible valuables. The absence of a cage on the inside of the letterbox invites "letterbox fishing," where burglars use extendable poles to snatch items from inside.
Quick Tips to Increase Home Security
Use Both Locks: Ensure that both locks on your door are engaged to make entry more challenging for burglars.
Obscure Windows: Prevent prying eyes by using curtains, blinds, or frosted glass on windows.
Remove Keys from the Door: Leaving keys in the door is an open invitation. Keep them out of sight.
Install a Letterbox Cage: This simple addition can deter burglars from attempting letterbox fishing.
Gardens often serve as a burglar's toolkit, as people frequently leave ladders and other potential break-in tools readily accessible, so make sure that yours are safely stored away somewhere secure. Planting spiky bushes against the walls of your property can help to discourage intruders. Never leave keys hidden under plant pots or mats.
Safeguarding Your Possessions
In the event of a burglary, documentation and evidence are vital for insurance claims. Take photographs of each room with your belongings in place. These photos serve as undeniable proof of your possessions, simplifying the claims process. Keep receipts for expensive purchases and store valuables securely out of sight to slow down and potentially even thwart burglars' progress.
Alarms and CCTV
Modern security systems are highly effective. CCTV cameras, in particular, deter burglars. Traditional alarms may have lost some effectiveness, as people are less responsive to alarm sirens. Modern cameras offer real-time alerts and smartphone interaction, enabling people to stay connected to their home security.
Pets and Social Media Awareness
Contrary to common belief, having a pet doesn't necessarily deter burglars. Some intruders exploit pets as a means to bypass security. Signs like "Beware of the dog" may inadvertently
signal lax security. Pets can be manipulated by a confident intruder, making their presence less of a hindrance.
Be cautious with social media. Sharing holiday photos or travel plans can reveal that your home is unoccupied. Adjust your privacy settings to limit your social media audience to only trusted friends and family.
Maximise Existing Security Measures
Effective home security begins with utilising what you already have. Ensure windows and doors are in good repair and promptly address faulty locks. French windows, in particular, can be vulnerable, so reinforce them.
If you would like more advice on how to make sure that your property in Slough is secure, please give us a call on 01753 358122 or send us an email to email@example.com and we will be happy to share our advice with you.