a break in at any time of year is devastating, but now Christmas is just around the corner and the evenings are getting darker, we tend to find that home break-ins are on the rise. Keeping your home secure is probably one of your major priorities, but it’s important to be especially vigilant in the darker months. It’s important to look at your property through the eyes of an opportunistic burglar, and you'll find the weak points much easier to spot.
How good are your locks?
An opportunistic burglar will look for cheap window and door fittings, as the locks are easier to pick and so it’s quicker to gain entry to the property, with less time in which to potentially get caught. It’s worth investing a bit of money into good locks, especially for doors, to act as a deterrent to potential robbers.
How new are your alarms?
Old or unkempt alarm systems scream ‘my home is unprotected’ to passers-by, and therefore any potential burglars. It’s important to ensure that an alarm is visibly in good condition and that you use an up to date system. Seasoned robbers will know which alarm systems are easiest to bypass, so it’s best to do your research.
Is your yard tidy and clear?
A potential burglar sees a yard as a place to hide and stake out a property until the coast is clear. If your yard is untidy and full of debris with overgrown bushes, they’ve got better places to hide. Keep it trimmed back and open with good security lighting to be safe.
Do you leave expensive goods on display?
When a burglar is scoping out potential targets, he will always be considering what items of value a house will have. For example, he will be more likely to rob a home with students, as they tend to each own a phone, laptop, television and more, whereas a family home tends to have less electronic equipment. If you leave items of value on display, you’re essentially telling the burglar what makes you such a good target - it’s the opposite message to the one you want to convey.
Do you announce when you go on vacation?
When you’re on holiday, you’re less likely to disturb someone while they’re breaking and entering, making your home a more attractive target at that time. Don’t advertise when you’re going to be on vacation on social media, and encourage your children not to either. When you’re actually away, enlist the help of friends or neighbors to come round to the house and take in post, open and close the curtains, and turn lights on. It’ll make the house look lived in and less attractive. Also, remember it's important to protect your house, but also your technology to prevent Internet crimes like hacking or other security invasions.
Do you hide a key outside?
If you hide a key outside, you’re basically inviting burglars into your home. Seasoned robbers know all the likely hiding spots, so they’re liable to find it. Rather than hiding a key, ask a trusted neighbor to take a spare, or buy an AirBnB-style lockbox to fasten to the side of your home.
Remember, be vigilant and think like an opportunistic burglar, and you’ll make your home a much less attractive prospect.
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