1. Lock Everything Up
Most thieves are opportunists and take advantage of unlocked homes. Even if you are going out for a short time, lock-up your house and windows. Locksmiths can provide advice on the appropriate door and window locks, and key all the windows to a single key for your convenience.
Also, ask your electricity supplier about locks for your power supply to prevent tampering, and keep your car locked, even if it’s in your garage. Police have reported a case of a garage door opener stolen from a car, later used to burgle the owner’s property.
2. Don’t provide cover
Everyone loves a bit of privacy, but sometimes too much at the front of the home can be a great cover for thieves. Deter thieves from targeting your house by ensuring a clear line of sight from the street. Keep bushes and trees cut back that maybe obscuring the view to your front door. Sensor lights are also a good investment and always report broken street lights straight away. Police also suggest making sure your house number is visible for the fastest response if you need to call for help.
3. Upgrade your defences
A solid core door with a deadlock is harder to force, also grilles and shutters prevent burglars from breaking in through windows, and a peephole or lockable security screen can help keep burglars out.
4. Monitor all targets
Garages and garden sheds are often targets for burglars who can then use your tools or ladders to gain access to the main house (police even report wheelie bins used to smash windows). An automatic sensor light fitted to the shed or garage can be a useful deterrent, along with padlocks.
5. Security doesn’t take a holiday
Ask friends to collect your mail and to stop junk mail from building up in your letterbox while you’re away from home. A neighbour parking in your driveway can also help signal the house is not unoccupied. Other measures could include internal lights or a radio set on timers and organising for someone to mow your lawn.
6. Guard your keys
Household keys can be copied easily enough so be aware when lending your keys to tradespeople and acquaintances.
7. Store valuables in a safe
Money and jewellery are most popular items stolen in break-ins. Installing a small safe in your home is a relatively low-cost way to protect those items.
8. Don’t advertise valuables
Take a look at your house from the outside. With most thieves looking for cash, even a wallet or iPad left on your hall table can make your home a target. Have a look and see what you can see that is exposed. Also when purchasing expensive new gear and disposing of the packaging, make sure you break it up before tucking it into the bin or recycling. Mark your property using an engraver or ultra-violet markers and take photos of precious, one-of-a-kind possessions.
9. Install an alarm or deter thieves with a dog
An Alarm System is another layer of defence. A barking dog can also provide effective security for your home. Even installing a “Beware of the Dog” sign can make thieves pause before targeting your home.
10. Make friends with your neighbours
People tend to look out for each other in close-knit neighbourhoods. Neighbours can report suspicious activity at your home and help when you’re away – and you can return the favour.
Reference from Allianz Insurance