12 ways to reduce the risk of your home being burgled

It was reported last week by the Home Office that there has been a 4 per cent increase in the number of domestic burglaries compared to last 3 months of 2008.  So, what can you do to prevent your home becoming another statistic?

Here are 12 ways in which you can improve your home security.

  1. Install security systems such as a burglar alarm or a CCTV system, and importantly make them visible.  You want potential intruders to know that your home is protected.
  2. Many burglars access properties from a back window, therefore ensure your windows are fitted with key locks and again, if possible, make those locks visible.
  3. Keep outside doors locked at all times.  It is recommended that doors are fitted with a five lever mortice lock for added security
  4. Lock garden gates and garages, and have ladders and garden appliances which may aide an intruder locked away.
  5. Install motion sensitive lights to the outside of your premises.  Burglars don’t like to be seen so a light coming on unexpectedly is likely to act as a deterrent. The light may also alert you to someone being on your premises.
  6. Never have your possessions on show.  Ensure TV and laptops, for example, are not visible through windows.
  7. If you are away for a couple of days, put your lights or a radio on a timer (or better still both) so that it appears you are at home.
  8. If you are going to be away for a longer period of time, stop newspaper and milk deliveries as a mount up of both on your door step is an obvious sign to a burglar that you are away.  Also, do not close your curtains as this is another advert that no-one is home during the day.
  9. Never open your door to a stranger.  Your front door should be fitted with a peep hole so you can see who is at your door, and for added security you should also use a door chain.
  10. Never leave keys hidden under mats or flower pots, or hanging from a piece of string – burglars know all these tricks!
  11. Don’t leave post-it notes stuck to your door telling people you are out.  Many burglaries are opportunistic, and by telling people you are out, you are creating that opportunity.
  12. If you area doesn’t already have one, organise a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your street and encourage curtain-twitchers! Details can be found at: http://www.neighbourhoodwatch.net/

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