Christmas cheer can quickly turn to heartache if your home is targeted by burglars who are often at their busiest when they know a lot of valuable gifts and there for the taking.
With latest figures suggesting that a burglary happens every 40 seconds in the UK, it’s essential to take stock of your home security in order to prevent break-ins. Here are our top tips.
1. The majority of burglars get into homes through windows and doors, so it’s important to make sure they are fitted with secure locks. Canny burglars recognise which types of lock are most secure and will likely avoid them. It’s also worth thinking about upgrading your window security by adding sash jammers for extra protection.
2. It’s sobering to reflect that nearly one in four home burglaries are through first-storey windows.Poorly maintained windows are easier for burglars to access, while double glazing is much safer than single. Also, the more secure your house looks from the street, the less it will attract the attention of potential burglars.
Ensuring your double glazed windows are repaired and in full working order is also crucial to deterring criminals and keeping your home safe. If you have failed or cloudy double glazing, this can be a sign to thieves that you don’t look after your home and are therefore lax with security.
3. Your neighbours can be a helpful defence against a break in, especially if they know you’re away visiting friends and family. If your neighbours spot any suspicious activity while you’re not at home, they can either call you and let you know, or alert the police.
4. Be sure to lock your door – even when you’re in the house. Cheeky thieves can be in and out of your home in a few minutes, taking with them many of your treasured possessions. Some burglars have even got in through large cat and dog flaps, so the best advice is to secure them.
5. An effective home security system is a significant deterrent that makes burglars think again about targeting a property. In a poll of convicted burglars, 60% admitted to being put off by a security system.
6. Fitting a security camera outside your home is another preventative way of dissuading would-be thieves. Faced with having their activities videoed, most burglars will shy away from a property. Similarly, movement-activated external lighting will give burglars even more pause for thought.
7. If your double glazed doors need repairing, for example if your glass has condensation between the panes, then burglars may suspect that you don’t look after your home, and therefore don’t have adequate security precautions in place.
8. If you are going to be away from your home for any length of time over Christmas, you should think about using timers that turn house lights on and off randomly. Contrary to what some people believe, leaving lights on can actually attract the attention of criminals, especially if they see lights on when it isn’t dark.