1) Lock up.
This one may sound obvious, but locked windows and doors are your first line of defence against an intruder. Establish a security routine for use when leaving the house and going to bed, making sure to check that all doors and windows are securely locked, and that your burglar alarm is set.
2) Use a timer on your lights and radio when you are out of the house.
If you’re going on holiday, or spending an evening out of the house, it is a good idea to use a timer for your lights or a radio; this will create the illusion that there are people in the house, making you less likely to be targeted by burglars.
3) Protect your glass.
Putting a protective, clear film over your windows will make them considerably more difficult to smash, meaning that any potential criminal would have to spend longer breaking into your property. Alternatively, you can have ‘shock detectors’ fitted to windows as part of your alarm system, causing an alarm if someone is trying to smash or bump the window open.
4) Fit a visible external alarm.
A visible alarm, even if it is just a dummy, acts as a very effective deterrent against burglars. It shows very clearly that your home is fitted with security devices, and that it would be a hassle to burglarise. In fact, over 90% of convicted burglars say that they would completely avoid a home with an intruder alarm system.
5) Keep valuables out of sight.
Don’t leave valuables near doors or windows where they are on display for passing criminals, attracting them to your home. Thieves have even adopted a method called ‘fishing’ in which they put a hook through windows or letterboxes, seizing items such as car keys without even entering the home.
6) Dispose of packaging carefully.
You should always be careful when disposing of packaging as it can act as an advertisement for the contents of your home. Tape boxes inside out so that the old contents is not known, and take rubbish directly to a disposal site if possible.
7) Don’t answer the door to strangers.
You should always check who is at the door before opening it. If you do not know the person, or you weren’t expecting them, you are under no obligation to answer. Remember: a genuine tradesperson will always carry an ID card, and will be more than happy to present it before entering your home.
8) Don’t advertise your empty home on Social Media.
Modern day burglars are turning increasingly to social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter etc. in order to determine who and when to burgle. They use methods to find out your schedule and whereabouts, as well as to eye up your possessions, from the safety of their home. Take a look at our blog on how burglars are using social media for our top tips for staying safe online.
9) Keep your grounds clear.
If you’re going away at any point in the year, it is a good idea to ensure that your grounds are kept neat while you’re gone. Overgrown grass or piled up snow is a tell-tale sign that your home is empty.
10) Get rid of the ‘hidden key’.
A lot of households keep a spare key ‘hidden’ under a plant pot or doormat as a fall-back. The problem with this though, is that burglars are all too wise to it and know exactly where to look. If you must keep a spare key somewhere, keep it at the home of a trusted neighbour or relative.