If you have been the victim of a break in or burglary, you may be curious to know why you had been targeted. What was it about your property that attracted the burglar? After all, most thieves are opportunistic, so it may have been a spur of the moment break in. Shockingly, research has revealed that almost a third of us have no security measures in place, so the most probable answer is that your security was either non-existent or simply wasn’t tight enough. There are in all likelihood a whole host of extra measures that could have been taken to send thieves running in the other direction.
If you are lucky enough not to have been the victim of a theft crime, but are still looking for ways to make your property more secure, there are several ways of doing so. And what better way to know what deters potential burglars than to get inside the mind of one? The Co-op conducted a survey of 12 former criminals to find out what makes them select a particular property when they’re looking for targets, and what would deter them from breaking in.
One of the top considerations on their list of deterrents were smart homes. Technology is evolving at quite a rate, and is becoming more and more affordable as the market grows. Most home owners could have a basic smart device installed at very little cost. When you consider the inevitable hike in your insurance premiums in the event of a break in and a subsequent insurance claim, the cost is easily absorbed! The Co-op found that 89% of ex criminals surveyed said that they would be deterred from targeting a home with smart technology.
There are several other factors that would deter opportunist thieves when selecting their next mark.
Here are our top 5 tips:
- Smile, you’re on camera!
CCTV cameras are pivotal in the fight against crime. We see them literally everywhere on our streets, and the police rely on them daily to identify crime and its perpetrators. Amazingly though, only 14% of UK residents have them installed in their homes. Perhaps the biggest deterrent for thieves, burglars and other criminals, why do more of us not look to CCTV to protect our homes? Comparatively it’s more costly than other forms of home security, but it does add a means of identifying criminals, and provides evidence against any that are apprehended later.
- Light up!
Security lighting is an effective measure when it comes to protecting your home, particularly if the street lighting around your property is poor. Very few burglars work in broad daylight, so make the night time hours as bright as possible, as they don’t want to be seen! Whether you decide on lights timed to come on during certain hours of the night, or motion activated ones, they are all a deterrent. If you’re going out, leave some lights on inside, and a TV or radio – the more occupied your home looks the better.
- Shut up!
How many of us don’t lock ourselves in when we’re at home? Some burglaries happen when the property is occupied with thieves having gained entry through an unlocked door. People who are particularly vulnerable should be extra cautious, especially if they are living alone. Get into the habit of locking your doors when you come in as well as when you go out.
When we go to bed many of us sleep with the windows open? It’s good to have well ventilated rooms, but it’s easy to forget to secure them the next day when we’re in a rush to get out to work. Open windows are an invitation to would-be burglars.
Whenever possible have a car parked on the drive, and better still, install lockable gates at the entrance of your driveway.
- Be an attention seeker!
Criminals who are debating whether to burgle your house or not will not want to attract any unwanted attention. If you have dogs, your furry friends could be the deal breaker! Most thieves will not enter a property where there are barking dogs. If you don’t have any pets, you can get motion sensors that play a recording of barking dogs. Coupled with ‘beware of the dogs’ signs, it might be enough to prevent a break in.
Burglar alarms have a dual purpose; the sight of the box situated on the house is usually enough to discourage a burglar, but in the event they gain entry anyway, the noise of the alarm will soon attract the attention of neighbours and passers-by. Some more sophisticated alarm systems can combine smoke detectors and CCTV, giving you an all-in-one security system.
- Don’t be a virtual attention seeker!
It’s the age of sharing. With almost infinite social media platforms to choose from, it’s easy for us to share everything that’s going on in our lives. But do we really need to let everyone know what we’ve had for dinner, or the latest item of clothing we’ve bought, or that we’re jetting off to sunnier climes? Holiday details shared online is like advertising the fact that your home is empty.