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How To Protect Your Home: The Most Common Ways Burglars Enter the Home
In 2017, there were over 500,000 reported burglaries in the UK. The impact of a burglary extends beyond the value of the items stolen – for many, the most traumatic element is the loss of the feeling of security within their own homes.
But what do people do to protect and secure their homes, and how effective are these deterrents?
Through an analysis of national crime figures over the past five years and home insurance claim data MoneySuperMarket has revealed burglary trends in the UK.
In addition, they have sourced the views of the British public to uncover the methods of home protection most commonly enlisted and their views on home security.
The research reveals that your home is 12 percent more likely to be burgled in December than during the rest of the year. The research also shows that 50 percent of Brits are most concerned about the safety of their homes whilst on holiday.
Currently, the most popular home security method employed by 42 percent of the British public – is to double-lock their doors, with 39 percent ensuring all doors are double locked before leaving the house or going to bed.
But while this does discourage some burglars, 70 percent of burglars still gained access via doors last year. Of these, 29 percent got in by forcing the locks, 10 percent broke or cut a panel of the door and 15 percent simply entered through an unlocked door.
The most common measures Brits are taking to protect their homes are:
Window locks – 90 percent
Double locks or deadlocks – 84 percent
Light timers or sensors – 56 percent
Security chains or bolts – 34 percent
Burglar alarms – 32 percent
However, despite 32 percent having burglar alarms, only one in 10 (10 percent) people say they would alert the police as their first response to hearing an alarm, calling the effectiveness of this security measure into question.
58 percent of people’s first response would be merely to look out of the window.
How To Protect Your Home
- Close your windows – It may seem obvious, but dark evenings provide an easy cover for burglars to sneak in if they spot valuables within an easy distance of your open window;
- Keep keys safe – placing car and house keys on side tables near your front door makes it easy for thieves to fish them out through the letterbox, so keep these a safe distance away;
- Keyholes covered with tape – burglars have been placing tape over door locks to see if the house is occupied in a recent spate of robberies in Ireland, so remain vigilant and check your locks for any tampering;
- Keeping up appearances – making sure windows are not broken and all access points are sealed can increase security, plus storing any loose tools or ladders out of sight of opportunist thieves. If you’re away over Christmas ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home, for example ensuring all post is pushed through your letterbox fully;
- Light timers – using a timer that triggers a light when you’re out will allow it to look like someone’s at home even if the house is empty, discouraging burglars;
- Replace the locks – old locks may mean previous homeowners still have your keys. Replacing them can add an extra layer of security to the house while updating older models with modern ones can strengthen security at the same time.
Tom Flack, Editor-in-Chief at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “As the nights draw in, it’s important to protect your home from theft, as research reveals that over half of burglaries take place during the evening or night.”
“Claiming on your home insurance if someone breaks in without forcing entry may be difficult, especially if there is no evidence of a crime being committed. This is known as the duty of care and, to ensure you’re paid out in full, always check windows and doors are locked before you go out, whether you’re just popping to the shops or leaving for an entire evening.”
“Always be vigilant and check that your home and contents insurance is up to date. When it’s time to British public treat burglaries renew, it’s important to shop around, as in the event that you’re burgled, you’ll want to be covered by the best policy for the items that matter most.”