Our homes are often our world and it’s never nice to know that strangers might be scheming to find a way in. When burglars are prowling, they will scour a number of different aspects of a property to find its weak spots. They might see an open window or notice that your home has been empty for a while, which will encourage them to take the opportunity to find a way inside.

Criminals can be crafty but it’s not all doom and gloom -there are certainly several things that you can do to help prevent your home from being the victim of burglary.

Deter the burglar

  1. The first step to deterring a burglar is keeping your home looking well loved. Keeping it tidy and well maintained makes it look like there are people around on a regular basis, and not an easy target. Things like tools, ladders and bins should be put away or secured to the ground so they can’t be used to get into the house.
  2. Avoid big gates or hedges that obscure the door from being seen from the street – burglars like to work without being overlooked. Security lights help on a similar level by drawing attention to unwelcome activity on your property.
  3. A CCTV system secured in a prominent position will let your potential burglar know that they are not welcome, and they’ll get caught on camera if they do attempt to trespass.
  4. Neighbourhood watch. Even small things like a neighbourhood watch sticker on your window and tidying valuables away from plain sight should give a burglar reason to hesitate.

Physically stop the burglar

If the burglar isn’t deterred by the above then the next step would be to physically prevent them from getting into the building.

  1. Double lock. You can do this by putting two locks on external doors – a deadlock and a night latch. This way, a burglar will have to pick two locks to get in. When you’re home, be sure to use the security chain too.
  2. Are your doors locked? Of course, it pays to double check that your doors are locked at night and when you are away from the house. This seems like an obvious thing to state, but police figures show that an unlocked door is one of the top ways that burglars gain entry to a property.
  3. Where are your spare keys? While research has shown that many people leave spare keys outside, one in five people are leaving their keys inside but in plain sight of the door. This allows burglars to ‘fish’ for keys through the letter box. To combat this, use a letter box cage, or get rid of it entirely and use a wall mounted post box instead.
  4. If your door has glass in its design, then it could be even more vulnerable. Some thieves will have no qualms about smashing the glass and gaining entry that way. Retro fit with window security film to help deter and slow down burglars, as well as protect against accidental damage.
  5. Secure your windows. When it comes to windows, make sure that they’re shut and locked properly when you’re away from that room. Leaving the window open even slightly gives the burglar an opportunity to get in. Don’t leave your window keys in the locks either – just store them close to the window for emergencies.

For more top tips on to beat burglars see our interactive guide here. If you want more information on preventing crime, then head to the UK police website.

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