Whether you are a homeowner or tenant, the contents of your home are likely to be valuable – valuable enough to tempt the light-fingered or professional attentions of burglars.
That risk is multiplied many times over, of course, when you are away from your home, perhaps for an extended period of time, while on holiday for example.
Although you are likely to have arranged home contents insurance or tenants insurance – and specialist unoccupied property insurance when you are absent for any lengthy period – your insurer is still entitled to expect you to take all due reasonable care in safeguarding your home against burglars. The more security measures you put in place, the greater your chances of earning a discount on the premiums payable.
As we noted in an article that appeared in our Knowledge Base on the 2nd of May 2018, one London council reported that almost a half of all burglaries happen when a home is unoccupied.
So, how might you burglar proof your home – especially when there is no one living there?
- in these days of ubiquitous social media, avoid the temptation of announcing your holiday plans to all and sundry – burglars are as likely to take as much an interest in your absence from home as your closest online friends
- according to an article in Good Housekeeping magazine on the 11th of April 2018, 78% of burglars found their target through browsing postings on social media;
- the Telegraph newspaper got word direct from the horse’s mouth by asking ex-burglars for their “professional” views on home security;
- a number of them stressed the importance of a good, reliable burglar alarm system, complete with video cameras;
- although burglars take pride in spotting a “fake” or cheaper model of burglar alarm, the fact remains that they are expensive to install – and more economical alternatives, such as motion-detector lighting is likely to deter any purely opportunistic thief;
The front door
- when considering the general security of your home, start with the front door – since that is where any burglar is also likely to start;
- make it look well-kept and secure, with a deadlock as well as a standard Yale lock;
- after the front door, similar attention needs to be turned to the windows – on upper floors, too – with good-quality locks fitted wherever possible;
Appearances are everything
- when there is no one at home, that is just the time to make it appear that someone is living there;
- make sure that the milk, papers and other deliveries are taken inside everyday – by cancelling the orders and enlisting the help of a friendly neighbour;
- economically-priced timer-switches allow lights to be turned on and off at appropriate times, whilst even cameras and monitoring equipment have become relatively cheap to buy these days;
Stow the valuables
- don’t keep valuables on show, but move them out of direct sight of the windows;
- if there is a break-in, some places are likely to be more obvious for the burglar to search than others – the sock drawer, for example, is reported to be a place favoured by many householders, and even the novice burglar knows that just as well;
- use some imagination and creativity, therefore, in finding out of the way places to stash your most valuable items and documents
There are many ways you might help to burglar proof your home. Your local police force may be able to suggest ways you had not thought of – and their advice is often provided completely free of charge. So, remember to take them up on any offer to help.