How to prevent burglary – some top tips
Burglary, sadly, is a fact of life, whether you live in a dense urban area or the countryside. 2020 saw a decline in burglary numbers, thanks to many of us staying home due to the pandemic. However, now restrictions have lifted, burglary is expected to increase once more, especially with the long dark nights of winter looming. So here at Lock-On Security, we’ve put together some top tips on how to prevent burglary and scare away burglars.
Burglaries happen in all kinds of neighbourhoods; thieves will take their chances if they see a weakness or a flaw in your property. Nearly 50% of burglaries are opportunistic crimes that could be easily prevented. Taking the effort to protect your home properly will help to prevent burglaries.
Top tips to prevent burglary
In order to successfully protect your home from thieves, you first need to think like a burglar. Here’s what they look for before breaking into a property.
1. Windows without curtains or blinds
This may seem like an obvious point, but leaving your interior on display is a form of asking for it when it comes to burglary. The first thing a burglar will do is check the front of your property – if your windows aren’t obscured, they know you don’t care very much about security. Always leave your blinds down when you’re out of the house to prevent people from seeing what’s inside.
2. A poor lock
Lock picking is still very widely practised by burglars, and you will be surprised by how many locks aren’t up to the task of resisting being tampered with.
Lock snapping continues to be a threat. This is where an intruder gains entry by breaking the cylinder lock in your door, so the quality of your lock cylinders is more important than ever.
A great tip to see if your cylinder is an ideal target for lock snapping attacks – and should be replaced – is the £1 tip. Get a £1 coin and if your cylinder is protruding more than the depth of a £1 coin, then it can easily be attacked by criminals.
We also recommend checking that your cylinder is rated at TS007 3-star Kitemark and consider changing it if it isn’t as this assures you that it meets the standards set out by the BSI. If you find yourself needing to change your locks, get in touch with Lock-On Security today.
3. Old door handles
Door handles are often a sign to criminals that your home security isn’t up to scratch either. If your door handles are starting to become loose, then experts would recommend making an upgrade. Nothing signals to a burglar that you’re skimping on security more than a handle in poor repair. New replacement handles are available from your locksmith in Portsmouth, Lock-on Security.
4. Doors or windows left unlocked
The old cliche that an open door is an open opportunity is true. In the UK, nearly a third of homeowners don’t bother locking side and back doors or windows when they are going out to the garden can be particularly easy to overlook.
If you’re going out, remember to check that your windows and doors are properly locked. If you leave one window open, thieves are more than likely to try their luck with other windows.
Additionally, check your doors and windows are in proper working order. Hinges and locks should be galvanised to provide added protection against rust.
5. A dark back garden
Back gardens need as much protection as your front door. In fact, back gardens with good side access without motion sensor-activated floodlights are a boon to burglars. Security lighting to the side and back of your property is therefore essential.
Your Portsmouth locksmith recommends smart security lights that you can link to your phone. Like smart CCTV systems, a smart security light sends a message to the user if it has detected movement, meaning the owner does not need to be at home to have control of the situation.
Additionally, it might sound simple, but anything that might make noise such as a gravel path will deter thieves. Burglars prefer to work under the cover of darkness and in complete silence when entering a house, so a trick to stopping them is to lay gravel outside your back door or along your front path.
6. Fencing that is style over substance
Too many people fall into the trap of prioritising looks, without considering quality and effectiveness. One of the main culprits of poor security design is generic steel palisade fencing, commonly used for houses that back on to public areas.
A fence is good, but a fence with thorny or spiky plants on top is even better. Consider using ‘defensive’ plants such as Berberis or Hawthorns to help create a barrier on your side of the fence. This will help deter the majority of burglars.
Never pick a fence just because it looks good – get in touch with your local Portsmouth locksmith for an honest assessment of whether a particular type or style of fencing will actually do anything to protect your home.
7. Oversharing on social media
People can often put their home at risk by posting their whereabouts on social media. If your social media security settings aren’t up to scratch, anybody can have access to your account and discover if you’re out for the day, the weekend or even when you’ve jetted off on holiday. This means any burglar can enter your home virtually undetected and can even have a rough idea of when you’ll be returning.
More disturbingly, there is research that shows that burglars often are known to their victims, so you may need to be more careful about who you give access to your social media posts.
What to do if your house is burgled
Sadly, even if you follow all reasonable precautions, a burglary can still happen. If you are unlucky and you have been burgled, it’s important to follow these steps:
- Call 101 to report the burglary. You’ll be given a crime reference number that you will need to quote to your insurer.
- Don’t touch anything. A burglary can feel very distressing and your first instinct may be to clean up all signs of the break-in. Don’t do this until the police have arrived and collected any evidence such as fingerprints from your home.
- Take photographs of any damage. Again, you will need this for insurance.
- If your wallet has been stolen, cancel all banks cards.
- Make a list of all the items that have been stolen and try to find any receipts you may have kept.
Your local Portsmouth locksmith offers a full security survey service. Do you know if your home or business is secure from potential burglars? Lock-On Security can check that your home is secure and that you have the right security lighting for your home or business. Call Lock-On Security on 07952 302102 for a free home or business security survey.