Wherever you look for advice on the best approach to protecting your home, you will find that the best protection is to ensure that physical security is as robust as it can reasonably be.
Households most at risk are those with poor security, homes with low occupancy levels or where the occupier is young (lone parent and children.)
Many burglars gain entry through an unlocked or open window or door. While the belief may be that a professional thief has targeted your home - in reality - it is more likely that the crime is opportunist, but not necessarily amateur.
Intruder alarms and other electronic security measures will provide an effective deterrent, but should be used in conjunction with - not as a substitute for - appropriate physical security.
- Lock doors and windows, even if you are at home.
- Use good quality - to the relevant British Standard - deadlocks on all exterior doors.
- Windows should be fitted with locks or pins. Many primary locks - such as those on patio doors - can be easily defeated.
- Fit a chain or latch to the door - or even opt for a wide angle viewer - so that you can check who is there before you open to door.
- Security lighting to the perimeter of your home can be a good deterrent. These can be set to react (turn on) by motion detectors. Add-on motion detectors can now be added to existing lights that don’t have them fitted as part of the assembly.
- Timers on interior lights can be a good deterrent, if the home is unoccupied for a period of time. Timers set to turn on radios or the TV can also give the appearance that someone is home.
- The property should not be hidden from view by trees and shrubs. These can create a hiding place for an intruder to access the property.
- Valuables should be marked or engraved with a unique identifier (eg a number unique to you – such as a driving licence or date of birth.) If the Police recover the item, they need to be able to identify the owner.
- Report suspicious activity to the Police.
- Burglar alarm bell boxes should be visible. They are a valuable deterrent and provide an audible warning than an intruder is entering or is on the premises.
There is a range of electronic security systems available to protect your home - from bells-only systems to fully monitored systems and CCTV. The type of system you choose depends upon your budget and the nature of valuables you wish to protect.
Insurers will frequently offer a discount on the cost of content insurance, if you have a burglar alarm fitted by a company certificated by a body such as SSAIB.