There are important steps you can take to keep yourself from becoming the victim of a home burglary.
Coming home to find your house has been broken into is a nightmare no one wants to experience. The fear of being burgled is in the back of our minds, but it’s still not something we like to think about. Some people approach their fear by not doing anything and hoping for the best. Others take security precautions and other measures to keep their homes and businesses safe.
Remember, burglars do not like being in a property long. Our simple precautionary steps can slow thieves down and potentially prevent more things from being taken.
One person did us all the favor of actually speaking to people who have burgled homes in the past to find out what are the best ways to keep theives out of our homes and premises. Surprisingly, the burglars were pretty forthcoming. The answers reveal what makes a home or business an easier target for burglaries. If you’re doing any of these things, try to make some safety improvements as soon as you can! We can assist with our range of intruder and CCTV systems.
1. Your house is empty during the day
Most of us probably assume that robberies take place at night. In the movies, robberies always seem to happen when everyone is sound asleep in their beds. But burglars say that isn’t so. Robbing a house while someone is in it only increasing a robber’s chance of getting caught; they prefer robbing a home during the day when no one is home.
An article from the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing says that burglars are more likely to target homes that are “routinely vacant during the day.” A serious thief may watch your home for a few days to confirm that you are gone for work before breaking in. Other burglars may just casually knock on the front door to confirm no one is home. Fortunately, there are other simple things you can do to keep your house safe instead of quitting your job to protect your home all day!
It’s also not a good idea to keep your car keys right by your front door. If someone does break in, they will have a very easy time taking your things and driving away in your car. Also, get rid of that spare key you have hidden under your welcome mat or flower pot!
2. You leave your windows and doors unlocked
Locking your doors might seem like the most obvious thing to do to keep yourself safe, but thieves know first-hand that many people skip this simple precaution. One robber said you wouldn’t believe the amount of people that don’t lock their doors. This individual says that he walked right into fellow students’ rooms and stole game systems, laptops, textbooks, and bikes.
But it’s not just students that can be careless with their locks. Many people forget to lock their back doors, and their fences can provide extra coverage for a sneaky thief. Another person admits to taking advantage of this. He said, “I often went in through an unlocked back door.”
3. You let your mail pile up while you’re on holiday
When preparing to go on holiday, some people forget to ask someone to take care of their post while they’re gone. Seeing an overflowing amount of post and a pile of newspapers in front of a house is a signal to thieves that they’ve found an easy target; they’ve just figured out that your house is empty.
Luckily, there are easy remedies for this problem. You should definitely pause your mail if your are going to be on holiday for a long period of time and have a friend pick up your newspapers.
One burglar shared that he noticed a few other signs that a house was empty: “I often picked houses by the stupid tricks people use when they go out of town. …Tons of lights on, and an obnoxiously loud TV on in the living room at 2 a.m. on a Sunday night.”
You may have thought you were protecting your home, but someone casing your house will be smart enough to see through a trick like this. When your are away on holiday or on business, leave a few lights on and have someone take care of your post and papers etc.
4. You have an easily accessible backyard
Thieves will choose the most convenient way to enter your home. Many like to enter through back windows because there is less of a chance that someone will see them breaking into your house. If you don’t have a fenced-in backyard, it will be easier for a thief to gain access to the back of your home.
Another self-confessed burglar suggests that you “make it a royal pain […] to get into your backyard. No one likes breaking in through the front door or front windows. No one likes scaling 10 ft fences either.” The more you can do to slow down a thief, the less chance they will succeed at getting into your home.
5. You have a thief in your midst
It may surprise you to know that most homes are not burglarised by strangers. A report revealed that over half of burglaries are committed by someone who knows the victim.
One person described this phenomenon: “Sketchy son-in-law. Jealous neighbor. These are the people most likely to burglarise your house”. It may be tough to cut these people out of your life. CCTV Camera systems and intruder alarm systems often deter these people, our systems notify you of any attempt to break in and can even notify police on your behalf.
They know your routine, they have been inside your house. Try to hide information about your whereabouts from them. Don’t post your upcoming trip to France on Facebook where they can see it for example. It might be hard to put these protections in place, but it’s better than having to confront a person you know who stole from you.
6. You make it obvious that you have valuables
The same article from the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing said that thieves are looking for the greatest potential rewards. They are likely to target homes that show obvious signs of wealth. This means that you should limit the visibility of your valuables and make it hard for them to be seen from outside.
Like one thief says, “Keep expensive stuff out of sight. Your 60″ flat screen TV should not be visible from the street. Your MacBook Pro shouldn’t be kept right in front of your first floor office window.” It also helps to keep less obvious valuables in a safe place. Thieves admit to checking the master bedroom first for jewelry, cash, and other valuables. Consider putting your prized items in safer locations. We provide precision engineered safes for everything precious to you. If it matters to you, you can secure it with Advanced Overwatch.
7. our home is in a convenient location
Burglars are looking for the highest reward with the lowest risk. Burglars pick homes and businesses that are convenient hits. They might look for a home with an easy getaway to a main road, but they also like homes on the outskirts or in rural areas where they have less chance of being seen by neighbors or passers by.
Thieves may also prioritise a home that has an entrance within easy access of an alleyway or street. Lack of visibility is another key factor burglars look for. Thieves are going to pick houses that have obscured entrances.
Corner houses with neighbors on only one side and houses that are concealed or covered by trees or architectural designs are more likely to be robbed. Houses that are hidden from the neighbors are easy targets — nobody’s there to catch them. Having poor lighting on and around your home can also make you less safe.
So, if you’re not ready to move or to cut down your trees, at least make sure your home is well lit. It also doesn’t hurt to make friends with your neighbors and agree to keep an eye out for each other.
8. You forget to close (and lock) your garage door
This falls into the same category as forgetting to lock your front and back doors. People may forget to close their garage door after they go inside or while they’re in the backyard. Another individual noted that “thieves like to drive around nice residential areas, looking for people who left their garage open. They love a situation where someone might be cutting their grass and make a note to return later to check the garage or quickly hop out of the car, run into the garage, grab as many tools as they can, and run.”
Being more cautious about keeping your garage door closed at all times will help keep many thieves at bay.
But some burglars are a little more ambitious. Thieves know that most people don’t lock the door from the garage into their home. An Advanced Overwatch alarm installer explained, “We often demonstrate the ease of getting into a customers garage – its a weak point in most residential properties and often not secured by an alarm. Thieves are getting smarter and more savvy so we always recommend as part of our installation that any weak points are covered with CCTV, an intruder alarm or ideally both.”
9. You don’t have an alarm system
Alarm systems are no longer extremely expensive and are a great way to keep thieves at bay. Alarm signals are a huge deterrent. No thief wants to attract that kind of attention.
While some have debated the effectiveness of just seeing an alarm sign outside the home, most burglars agree that hearing an actual alarm would be enough for them to leave a home immediately.
Our customer alarm systems have a bell box putting out 110dB when triggered and the external box is tamper proof along with being one of the most visible on the market – Ultra high visibility LEDs are guaranteed not to burn out with the entire front panel LED Back-lit. Drive on burglars!
8. You don’t have a CCTV system
Former burglars say barking dogs and CCTV are the best deterrent. Burglars are most likely to be put off breaking into homes by CCTV cameras and barking dogs, according to a panel of former criminals.
Nearly half of the 12 former burglars consulted by Co-op Insurance said most thieves were opportunists wandering the streets who would avoid difficult break-ins that were likely to attract attention.
We have a wide range of smart CCTV solutions enabling you to monitor your home or business day or night, with no monthly fees and in full HD.
If you follow the tips on this list, you will be well on your way to having a safer home or business. Lock your doors and windows, install deadbolts, keep your home well lit, and consider installing an alarm and CCTV system. You can also protect the possessions in your home by making your smaller valuables less visible and securing them in a safe.
Having a safe or lockbox will discourage a thief from taking your things when they are short on time.
For further information on how Advanced Overwatch can help keep your home or business save, call us on 02870 878077.
Advanced Overwatch CCTV and Security Solutions are an ISO:9001 and ISO:27001 certified installers and consultants. Contact us today