The first stage in crime prevention is to eradicate potential opportunities, and as a homeowner, it’s down to you to put measures into place.
Although nighttime security is most people’s biggest concern, 30% of all burglaries happen during daylight hours, coinciding with work, errand and school schedules. This just goes to show how important it is to take care of your home security no matter the hour of the day.
When it comes down to the protection of your loved ones and those cherished belongings you worked so hard for, you can never be too cautious. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks that you could implement to ensure that you have the peace of mind in knowing that you’ve done everything you can to keep your home protected.
Shield From The Outside
Inspect the Exterior Of Your Home For Weak Spots
Take a walk around the perimeter of your home and really zone into the mind of a burglar – in fact, you don’t need to be a burglar to figure out where your outer shield is falling short.
For example, you know that a broken seal is a perfect opportunity for a burglar to pry open the window with a crowbar (something a burglar will conclude too).
While undertaking your walkaround, it’s a good idea to peak through your windows and assess how easy it is for a potential burglar to spot expensive electronics, art and furniture. It’s not necessary to rearrange your whole home, but a few small alterations can ensure that your valuable possessions aren’t in plain sight, should a particularly opportunistic burglar walk by.
Trim Any Shrubbery & Keep Entrance and Walkways Clear
Stray items and long shrubbery are ideal hiding spots for burglars, and the last thing you want to do is give them the protection and luxury of the perfect hiding spot.
It may only take a few minutes to forcibly enter your home, but with less cover to make an approach it makes an attempt much more remote. Thorny shrubs and holly trees under windows make entry even more difficult!
Install Motion Sensor Lighting
Motion sensors act to deter burglars before they can even reach your doors or windows. Thieves prefer to work under cover of darkness, so what could be worse than shining a spotlight on them, especially in the dark corners and crevices?
Introduce Yourself to the Neighbours
Crime rates are mostly lowered in areas with a good deal of community spirit, and this is because neighbours are far more likely to look out for each other and have a good idea when something or someone is somewhere it shouldn’t be.
Your neighbours are one of your best assets when it comes to home crime in your area because they can be an extra pair of eyes and ears. This is especially true for those working shift patterns or retired pensioners, as they are more likely to be home in the day while you’re at work.
Some areas may run a neighbourhood watch scheme, which encourages tighter communities looking out for each other in order to prevent crime and other nefarious activities.
And if your local area doesn’t already run a watch scheme, why not start one?
Keep All Entrance Ways Locked
It’s best to ensure that all entrance ways such as gates, garages and back doors are locked whenever you aren’t using them. 30% of all burglaries in the UK occur because the homeowner neglected to lock a door or window.
While it is true that a particularly determined burglar could make short work of a gate leading to the back garden, even if it is locked, but where’s the sense is leaving both the back gate and door unlocked?
Don’t make things easy for them.
Make Your Home Easy to See
This may sound slightly counterintuitive but bear with it.
Burglars prefer poorly lit and out of the way homes for three reasons. Firstly, it makes any approach to the house much more accessible. Secondly, if things go wrong, they always know they have the added insurance of having plenty of dark corners and areas to hide. And thirdly, if the burglar struggles to identify the house number or name, there’s a good chance the police will too, which may give them a valuable head start if they’re caught red-handed.
Fortify On the Inside
Now we’ve covered protecting the outside of your home, let’s move on to ensuring your home is protected on the inside.
Change the Locks In New Properties
Each time you move into a new home, be sure to get the locks changed. If you’re renting, contact your landlord and ask when they were last changed. If it was sometime before you moved in, then request they are changed again.
Even if the previous occupier returned all the necessary keys, there’s no guarantee the one before that, or the one before that did. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all, what could be worse than a stranger letting themselves into your home?
Store Valuables in a Safe or Lockbox
If you own a small and unmounted safe, then consider bolting it into the ground or having it installed into a structure, such as under the floorboards. If your safe is in the open and small enough and light enough, burglars will have absolutely no qualms about taking the whole thing with them.
Don’t Label Keys or Hide Spares Outside
Labelling keys is especially prevalent when it comes to commercial premises. Dozens of keys can be attached to a large ring and marked to ensure that the holder is aware which key is which. Fine in principle, but should the keys be misplaced; you’ve essentially just made things easier for a potential thief.
When it comes to residential properties fake rocks and keys under mats are just about the most obvious things you can do. Thieves can spot a fake rock from a mile away, and you don’t need to be a master safe cracker to check under a welcome mat or plant pot for a spare key.
If you must store a key in a secondary location for emergencies, then consider leaving it with a neighbour, family member or installing a combination lock box.
Home Security Systems
Home security systems offer features that are of enormous benefit to the user. For example, outdoor motion detectors, door and window sensors, security cameras and loud alarms all benefit the homeowner and are bound to prevent criminals from trying their luck.
Select the equipment that best fits with your needs, and be sure to use only reputable companies. Otherwise, you might end up with a dud system and a rather sizeable hole in your wallet.
Although it may seem like a hassle to arm the systems each time you leave the house, it could well make all the difference.
Thieves know that while many houses do have systems in place, the owners neglect their responsibility to arm them when they go out.
Burglary is often a spur of the moment act. Spontaneity can often be the assailants most valuable weapon.
However, this blog should arm you with all of the information you need to create measures that can turn their act of impulsiveness into the stuff of nightmares for a thief.
Prevention is the best cure. So, it’s fair to say that as a homeowner it is your responsibility to ensure that you make a potential burglars life as difficult as physically possible.