We all want to sleep soundly at night, but according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), property crime accounts for 70% of all police recorded incidents. Burglars tend to be opportunists, and will seek out properties that offer the easiest access. So here are our top ten tips to minimise the chances of you and your home becoming one of their targets:
- Ensure all external doors and windows are fitted with quality locks and bolts, and make sure they are actually locked. Burglars don’t like to smash glass if they can avoid it.
- Don’t leave valuables where they can be seen, especially portable items such as wallets and mobile phones. Venetian blinds block the view during the daytime, and they’re awkward to get past.
- Hedges and shrubs can provide a screen for would-be criminals. Keep them low, particularly in the front garden. If you have a fence around your property, train a thorny plant such as a climbing rose across the top.
- Keep ladders and any tools that could be used to break into your house safely locked away.
- Install outside lights with a motion sensor.
- Don’t leave your keys in locks or near the letterbox. And don’t be tempted to leave them in secret hiding places such as under a flowerpot. Burglars know all the tricks!
- A visible alarm system will discourage burglars. If you’re not keen on having an alarm, you can fit a dummy one to deter the opportunist. There are also new wifi systems that connect to your smartphone and alert you to any movement in the house.
- If you go out, leave a light on (but not just in the hall as that’s a giveaway), and use timer switches.
- Secure your home before you go to bed.
- If you buy a desirable item, such as a new TV or laptop, don’t advertise the fact by leaving the box outside near the bin.
If the worst does happen, there are things you can do to make the aftermath a little easier. Make a list of important items – including make, model and serial number where relevant. This list could be useful for the police and your insurance company. Take a photo of all of your valuables, and mark them with your postcode and house number. This makes them harder to re-sell and easier to trace. There are several ways to do this, and kits are widely available.
Preparation can lead to cheaper household insurance
Insurance discounts may be available if you use a qualifying standard of lock, so check this out before you fit them. Plus some alarms can also attract an insurance discount. At PayingTooMuch.com, we can help you source the cheapest home insurance policy by asking you all the right questions, and advising you on how to be prepared.