Everyone wants an easy life and burglars are no exception. Criminals are more likely to target houses where they think that they will get high returns for a low risk factor. Changing a few things about your home can make it a much less appealing target for burglars. Analysis of criminal behaviour shows that burglars tend to look for certain things when they are scoping out houses to target. Your property could be at risk if it meets any of the criteria on this list:
People who live in a city are more likely to be targeted by criminals than those who live outside of a built-up area. This is partly because the high density of houses means that thieves can target multiple properties in one night, without having to spend time travelling between locations. One recent crime survey, based on the rate of burglary per 1000 people, showed that London, Manchester, Bristol, Burnley and Nottingham were the top 5 places for burglary in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, living in a crime hotspot will normally have an effect on your home insurance premium. Whilst you may not be able to move house, you may be able to take other steps to reduce the risk to your home. For example, setting up a neighbourhood watch scheme in your area can help to reduce the potential of crime. Neighbourly spirit is an enemy of criminal behaviour, because vigilant neighbours are more likely to spot suspicious activity in the local area. You will also hear of other incidents through these channels.
Type of Home
Statistics also show that semi-detached properties are more likely to be targeted than detached houses or terraced houses are. Semi-detached houses offer a lot of promise to burglars, because it is normally easier to get around the back of the property and out of sight. There tend to be places for burglars to hide before they make their move. On the other hand, terraced houses are harder to access and there tends to be more people around these properties who might spot something suspicious. Although this might seem like it should make detached houses an ideal choice, most low-level criminals will actually stay away from higher value properties, because they worry that these properties will be protected by top-of-the-range security systems.
Having an unsecured shed at your home will look like a green light to potential burglars. A garden shed normally contains all of the tools that a burglar needs to force access to a home. Leaving your shed open can be thought of as handing criminals the tools that they need on a silver platter. An unsecured shed can also give potential thieves hints about the state of other security measures at your home.
Thieves are most likely to strike during the daytime and they tend to target homes which they believe to be empty. If you are going away on holiday or if you are going to be away from your house for a while for any other reason, you need to make sure that you take steps to reduce the risk that your home will be identified as empty. Make sure that you cancel the milk and morning paper before you go, so that it doesn’t end up piling up on the doorstep. Buy a timer that can be used to switch on the TV or radio for an hour or so in the evening. Consider hiring a gardener if you are going to be away for a long time. They can prevent an overgrown garden from betraying your absence.
The more access points that your home has, the more appealing it will be to potential criminals. These access points will give criminals a lot of options for getting into and out of your home. If you want to dissuade criminals from trying to break into your home, you will need to identify all of these access points and ensure that they are all properly secure. Never leave windows open when you are out of the house, even if they are very small windows. Regularly check wooden window frames for signs of rot, as rotten windows are easier to gain access through. Lock your front and back doors when you are out of the house. Using a combination of two lock types can help to add an extra layer of security to a door.
Are there plenty of dark corners around your home that potential housebreakers could hide in? Not only will they take advantage of these dark corners whilst they are actually breaking into your home, but they will also use these dark corners when they are assessing whether your home is worth trying to get into. Big back gardens which contain overgrown shrubs are an ideal place for criminals to hide. Dissuade criminals from entering your back garden by surrounding it with hedges or high fences. Autumn fruit brambles or rose hedges can look beautiful whilst also providing a thorny deterrent to would-be criminals. Reduce dark areas in the garden by putting up a motion sensor light. These lights help to illuminate the garden if they detect any motion, so they make it much harder for criminals to sneak around in the shadows.
No Visible Alarm System
Having an alarm on the side of your home can help to put criminals off of targeting property, because the alarm system will draw attention from the neighbours if it starts to sound. Choose an alarm with a flashing light which will be hard to miss. This light will attract the attention of would-be criminals and will also show you that the light is still working properly. It is possible to buy fake alarms, which look like alarm systems but that will not sound if the house is breached. However, criminals are becoming more vigilant about what to look for with these fake systems, so it is worth investing in a working alarm system if you wish to put criminals off.