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How to Deter Burglars: 10 Smart Ways to Keep Your House Safe

Your home might be your castle, but that doesn't mean it's safe from invaders.

2 out of every 100 homes in the UK experience a burglary. That's more frequent than most of us would like to believe, but it's also a fact that burglars prefer easy targets, so deterrence can go a long way.

Wondering how to deter burglars? We've put together ten smart ways to keep your home safe.

1. Shut The Front Door

Let's start with the basics. Securing your doors might seem like an obvious solution, but the best way to secure your home is also the simplest.

Many homes in the UK are over a hundred years old. That means their doors and locks might suffer from age and obsolescence. It's also not uncommon to find old wooden doors with obvious security vulnerabilities, like small glass panes.

If you haven't updated your doors in a long time, consider getting them replaced with modern double glazing and secure locks. Also, remember to lock your doors whenever you're not present.

2. Twice as Glazed, Twice as Safe

Again, ageing homes are often the most vulnerable to theft.

Many older or listed properties still don't have double-glazed windows, particularly in the country. Single glazed windows are much more vulnerable to burglars, as they're easier to break. They're often set in old timber frames rather than modern PVC.

Burglars factor in the number of impediments when they scope out a home. Secure doors and windows will provide a first-line defence against intrusion.

3. Keys to the Kingdom

Spare keys are the bane of home security. It doesn't matter how smart a hiding place you've come up with. You aren't likely to come up with anything burglars haven't seen before.

If you must have a spare key outside your home, then leave it safe with someone you trust. Otherwise, accept the cost of a locksmith in the unlikely event you're locked out and consider that it's still cheaper than a break-in.

You should also take care to keep your keys out of sight in a property. Often burglaries will put out a window or reach through a letterbox to reach hanging keys.

4. The Climbing Game

Although most burglars will enter a property through obvious routes, more enterprising types will use a property's layout to their advantage.

Scalable walls, garage roofs, and even decorative garden features can help criminals reach the upper floors of your property. Upper floors are more likely to have open or unlocked windows.

If you have features near your house which could allow a burglar to climb, consider protecting them with anti-climb devices or paint to deter an unwanted visit.

5. Good Neighbours, Good Friends

The world may have grown more anonymous, but the community still plays a major role in home security.

When you get to know your neighbours, you increase the number of eyes on your property. Neighbours will look out for each other and may provide helpful evidence after a break-in.

Consider joining a neighbourhood watch if one is active in your area.

6. Reality TV

CCTV is ubiquitous in the UK, but few homeowners use it to protect their property.

If you live in a high crime area, installing CCTV could be enough to deter burglars from breaking into your home. If anyone does come calling, you'll have evidence to take the police.

Home CCTV isn't as expensive as people imagine. However, homeowners need to be aware of privacy and data protection laws they could break by installing CCTV.

7. A Tidy Home

Psychology plays a major role in criminality and it's an overlooked aspect of home deterrence.

Keeping your home's external features tidy will reduce your chance of a break-in. An overgrown garden, dirty windows, and even an open gate can all appear as signs that the tenants are on an extended vacation.

This also applies to your home interior, particularly if it's visible from the street. A pile of post on your doormat seen through a window could be all the permission a burglar needs to enter.

8. Spanner in the Works

Did you know that many burglars don't bother to carry many tools?

It's often easier to access tools on site than to bring them to a job. Ladders left in obvious locations are the perfect target for a burglar. But they'll also access tools left in a shed or garage, which may have weaker defences than your home.

These tools will make it easier to access your home. Ensure you store all tools away in secure locations and out of sight so you aren't giving burglars the equipment they need to break in.

9. Fake It Til You Make It

Knowing how to keep your home safe won't help if you can't afford it. As we've seen from this list, some solutions are expensive.

But faking deterrence features can also make your home a less attractive target. Dummy alarms and CCTV both decrease the likelihood of a break-in thanks to the psychological impact of their presence.

Even if you don't have a dog, a "Beware of Dog" sign or sticker on your window or gate could cause some second thoughts.

10. Make Yourself at Home

The majority of burglars will aim to intrude on a home only when its occupants are out. Many will even abandon a break-in if they discover evidence of activity.

Leaving your lights on when you go out on an evening can reduce the likelihood of a burglary. You can also set devices on a timer, such as a radio or TV, to produce noise.

By showing signs that you're home or intend to return soon, you make your home unattractive to potential burglars.

How to Deter Burglars Explained

By now, it should be clear that the key to deterring burglars lies in preparation. The more uninviting your make your house to prospective burglars, the more likely they are to move on and find somewhere easier.

Looking for more home security advice on how to deter burglars? Be sure to follow our blog.


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