If you want to know the safest places in your home to hide your valuables, ask a burglar!
That is what the magazine House Beautiful did for a story on the 22nd of December 2019. Valuables hidden in cupboards and drawers in the living room, apparently, along with pots and pans in the kitchen or safes which are not fixed to the walls or floor, are the least secure places.
Instead, you might try hiding them in the children’s bedrooms or even under the sofa, according to seasoned burglars.
In truth, once the burglars have gained entry to your home, it is probably already too late. Beating the burglar means keeping him out – and reasonable steps towards home security are only to be expected by the insurers with whom you arranged your home insurance.
So, here are some tips on keeping the burglars at bay:
- you’ve installed locks on your outside doors and windows for a reason – remember to keep them locked while you are not close by;
- the Police website advises that most burglars gain entry by forcing or kicking down the front door, so make sure it is strong and sturdy enough to withstand such assaults;
- once you’ve locked those doors and windows, don’t leave the keys in plain sight or close to openings – such as your letterbox – through which a length of wire can easily unhook them;
- don’t leave your car keys near the inside of the front door either – put them away in a cupboard. Otherwise, if someone does break-in, they'll also have the means to drive away in your car with the stolen goods;
- don’t leave any valuables in plain sight through windows or glazed doors and keep high-value articles – such as jewellery - in a securely installed safe or keep them in a safety deposit box at your bank;
- install some interior lighting or put the TV or radio on timer switches, so that they come on and give the impression that someone is home even when you are away or out for the evening;
- burglars love the cover of darkness, so install some movement-detecting exterior lighting;
- lighting up the outside of your property will also help those kindly neighbours you’ve asked to keep an eye on your home when you go away on holiday or for a short break;
- although it won't prevent any unwanted intrusion, a prominently-displayed burglar alarm deters all but the most persistent – even an unconnected box on the wall may offer some deterrent;
- as part of your neighbourly outreach, you might also want to join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme;
- if high bushes or hedges obscure the front of your house, trim them back to make surveillance clearer and easier;
- free registration of your property with the website Immobilise will help the police to trace the ownership of recovered stolen property – and may make the filing of your home insurance claim easier if something has been taken;
- on the outside of your property, repair and maintain any fencing in good order;
- lock any side-access gates;
- ladders and other tools which might be used to break into your home should be locked securely away; and
- bicycles and other such items must be locked in a shed or garage.
These and other home security precautions are frequently a matter of simple common sense. To read more about these issues, you might want to review our comprehensive Property Security Guide.