Given the current economic climate, burglary is more common than ever in towns and cities around the UK, but it’s something that can easily be avoided by taking a few simple precautions. A stitch in time saves nine, as they say; spend a bit of time making sure your home is fully secure, and you could avoid the laborious task of filing an insurance claim and replacing all of your treasured possessions.
More importantly, you’ll be able to prevent your family from suffering the trauma of being broken into, which can take months to get over. Here are some quick and simple tips to prevent a burglary before it’s too late.
1. Never settle for just one lock
It’s a fact that one spring-loaded door lock built into the handle is never enough. In addition, you’ll need a deadbolt that can be locked with a separate key and doesn’t rely on a spring mechanism. This will significantly slow down any potential burglar and hopefully put them off even trying.
2. Check your doors are fitted securely
This one may sound a bit obvious, but it’s really important to make sure your doors are properly attached to their frames. Check that hinges are working correctly, fittings are screwed in as tightly as possible, and that the wood of the frame itself isn’t starting to rot. You could have the strongest door in the world, but it’ll all be in vain if the thief can just lift the door off its frame to gain entry.
3. Always lock doors and windows
This one goes without saying. Even if you go out for only 15 minutes, you should always lock all of your doors and windows. If it’s easy enough for a burglar to break in through a locked door, he or she will have no trouble just strolling through an unlocked one.
4. Invest in a high quality alarm system
The average burglar can spot a dummy alarm system a mile off, and they’ll probably have no trouble in bypassing a budget model. Do your home and your possessions a favor by investing in a decent alarm system, and make sure it’s clearly on display to act as a deterrent.
5. Invest in high quality external doors
Spending money on secure doors and windows is a wise investment that’ll more than pay for itself in the long run. All external doors should be solid rather than hollow – which you can determine by giving them a quick knock – as a hollow door will be no problem for a thief to bust in. Currently the most popular and secure are composite doors, which are made from a combination of different materials, giving them maximum strength and durability. Composite doors such as these ones from Yale are way less prone to weather damage, causing them to last for much longer.
6. Eliminate places for burglars to hide
Burglars will be much more likely to target a property that has well-concealed hiding places, such as unlit driveways or overgrown bushes. Eliminate the opportunity for hiding by installing outdoor lighting with a motion sensor to illuminate all blind spots. If you have lots of foliage, consider trimming it back a bit so that everywhere is a bit more exposed.
7. Never hang keys near a window or letterbox
One of the commonest mistakes – and an easy one to avoid – is leaving your house keys close to the front door or window. Burglars often have special tools to ‘fish’ keys out through the letterbox, or they may break a window to grab them. Be sensible and keep your keys on your person or somewhere that isn’t easily accessible for