No matter where you live, your home is always at risk from would-be thieves.
Whether you own your home or are renting, knowing how to protect your home from burglars is a vital skill in this day and age.
While you can never make your home 100% burglar-proof, there are several things you can do to deter and slow down any criminals lurking in your area.
Install An Alarm
Home intruder alarms are an excellent deterrent to would-be burglars. Sure, they can be annoying when a power cut or ground tremor causes them to go off needlessly, but they are still one of the best ways to protect your home.
For best results, you’ll need to make sure there is a visible alarm box on the outside of your property. This will help to stop burglars even considering breaking into your property.
Nowadays there a range of different alarms to choose from, including ones that call your mobile when they go off. Check out our guide on what type of burglar alarm is best for UK homes for more information.
Upgrade Your Locks
When you first move into a property, you should always make changing the locks a priority. However, even if you have lived at a property for a number of years, lock security is always improving.
You should look to upgrade to the latest lock security periodically so that your locks do not become an easy target for burglars. This will help to keep you one step ahead of criminals.
Upgrade Your Doors
If your property still uses wooden or uPVC doors, considering upgrading to a composite door.
Composite doors use a mixture of materials including uPVC, wood, steel, and glass to create a door that looks like wood but is stronger and more durable.
Not only do composite doors look better and retain heat better than other types of door, they are also much more solid and harder to break in to for criminals.
Keep Keys Out Of Sight
Thieves can be very inventive when it comes to breaking into properties. One common technique they use is to fashion a hook they can put through the letterbox to pick up nearby keys.
Therefore, make sure you never leave your keys within reach, or sight, or a door or window. Doing so is just tempting the burglar.
It’s also not good practice to leave spare keys hidden around the outside of your property. Invest in an outdoor key safe or leave a spare pair with a trustworthy neighbour instead.
Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems have really come down in price over the last few years. As a result, they are now a very cost-effective method of deterring burglars.
When installing, ensure that they do not leave any vulnerable blind spots and that the cameras themselves are not easy for intruders to tamper with.
You can install both external and internal cameras if you want added peace of mind.
Keep Doors & Windows Locked
It may sound obvious but it’s surprising how many people do not lock their windows and doors. Even when you are inside the property during the day, an unlocked door or open window is an invitation to criminals.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t open windows when the temperature rises, but do be careful about leaving valuables on display or rooms unattended.
As it gets dark outside, it becomes easier for passers-by to see into your property if you have the lights or a television on.
Therefore, make a habit of drawing your blinds or curtains as the sun sets in order to keep your valuables out of sight.
Use Anti-Climb Measures
You can help secure the boundaries of your property with various anti-climb products such as anti-climb paint or anti-climb spikes.
While both are relatively easy for a prepared burglar to overcome, they will help to stop an opportunistic thief from entering your property.
Install A Safe
Should a burglar manage to enter your property, you can limit their takings by installing a home safe to store those small valuables.
Placing items such as passports, spare cash, jewellery, and important paperwork in a strong safe attached to a wall or floor is a great way to ensure protect the most important things to you.
Turn Lights On
Lights being turned on in a property will make a would-be intruder think twice about whether someone may be home.
Plugging lamps into timer switches is an extremely low-cost way to make it appear as if someone is at home. Even better, use new technology such as smart lights to set schedules for your lights and control them from your mobile device.
Use A TV Burglar Deterrent
Similar to having your lights come on according to a timer, you can also buy devices that mimic the colour patterns emitted by a TV.
Called Fake TV Simulators, they cost just a few pounds and are arguably more convincing than a simple light being turned on.
Install A Security Light
Security lights have sensors that activate the light when movement is detected. Generally, burglars will avoid well-lit areas as they’ll be easier to spot by neighbours and passers-by.
Motion-activated security lights are therefore a low-cost, yet effective way to make breaking into your home a less attractive option for burglars.
Install A Smart Doorbell
Relatively new to the market, smart doorbells like Ring combine a video camera and doorbell with a link to your mobile phone.
When someone rings your doorbell (as burglars may often do to check is anyone is at home), you’ll get a notification on your phone. You can then view who is at the door and even speak to them through an integrated microphone and speaker.
Smart doorbells have the added benefit that you can also answer the door to delivery drivers and provide them instructions when you are not home!
Keep Well-Maintained Boundaries
If you have large hedges at the front of your property, make sure you keep them trimmed. Not only will this let more light into your property, it will also keep it more visible to passers-by and neighbours – something which burglars hate.
It’s also worth repairing broken fences or walls too as a strong and secure perimeter will make it harder for intruders to enter your garden in the first place.
Don’t Advertise Your Holiday!
In today’s world of instant communication and social media, it can be easy to drop your guard and notify potential intruders that your home is unoccupied.
Avoid posting on social media that you are going on holiday and avoid ‘checking in’ to places when away from home. Although you may trust your friends, publically advertising your home as unoccupied is just not a risk worth taking.
How Protected Is Your Home?
Do you think your property is well protected from burglars? Take the quiz below from SafeSite Security Solutions to get your home’s protection score:
How To Protect Your Home From Burglars – Conclusion
As we mentioned at the start of the article, you can never 100% guarantee a burglar will not enter your property. Nothing will stop a very determined thief.
However, by taking some of the steps above, you can make your property harder for a criminal to break in to. This can significantly reduce your chances of being burgled.
And remember, while it always pays to be on guard against burglars, you shouldn’t lose too much sleep over it. According to a recent ONS survey, you are around four times LESS likely to be a victim of burglary in the UK than you were in 1995. That’s most likely down to a number of factors, not least more awareness of how to protect your home from burglars.