Home security: How to deter burglars and protect your home
Home and other property break-ins remain a serious risk throughout Britain, even though we are all at stuck at home due to the pandemic. Footballer Dele Alli was attacked when his home was broken into in the early hours of last Wednesday. The burglars managed to get past Alli’s personal security guard who is protecting the property at all times. It’s important to keep your home as safe as possible at all times. Izzy Schulman at Keys 4 U reveals his top tips on deterring burglars and what to do if you are targeted.
How to put off potential intruders
Light it up
Izzy said: “Keeping the outside of your home well lit will deter criminals and attract attention to any uninvited guests trying to gain access to your property.
“However, motion-sensor lights offer an eco-friendly alternative to permanent lights, as they only light up when triggered by movement.”
“Environmentally-friendly features are becoming a strong selling point for potential buyers and its believed energy-efficient features could add up to £25,000 to the selling price of your property.”
So, not only will lights protect you from harm, they could ramp up the value of your home.
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Look out above
Izzy explained: “Most burglaries take place via windows or doors, but these aren’t the only points of entry to your home – especially if you live in a flat.
“Blocks of flats sometimes have loft spaces and areas above ceilings which aren’t compartmentalised to each home.
“Intruders may be able to access these areas and enter apartments through loft hatches.
“While it’s not as easy to make large structural changes when living in a flat, you can still protect your home with proper hatch security, like padlocks.
Izzy advised setting up a gravel driveway. He said: “Gravel driveways are an attractive and cost-effective option compared with other material alternatives and can add an extra level of security compared with flat surfaces.
“The loud crunching noise produced when someone walks over a gravel driveway can be heard in the home and by neighbours, helping you detect unwanted visitors.
“It’s even been recommended as a security feature by some police organisations.”
Izzy said: With UK burglary crime on the rise, the last thing you want to do is give them a helping hand.
“Many homeowners focus on securing their home and forget to check the rest of their property is protected. This includes gates, sheds, garages and other more.
“Unlocked sheds give intruders access to tools which could make a break-in easier.
“Heavy objects can be used to smash windows, while crowbars, pliers and even blowtorches are among the other tools that have been used to force entry into homes.”
Hiders outside the house
Burglars aren’t usually spontaneous. They’ll likely have scoped out your property for weeks before making a move.
Izzy said: “Many look for possible entry-points and make notes on the times you’re not around, so they can strike while you’re out.
“Dark and overgrown gardens are the perfect spot for potential intruders to wait for an opportunity to strike.
“Keep your front and back gardens neat and tidy and avoid overgrown shrubbery around your property to limit the number of potential hiding places.
“Invest in motion-sensor lights for your home, which will light up if any unwanted visitors turn up.”
Limit what you share
It’s easy to give out too much information on social media, so stay aware.
Izzy explained: “With criminals waiting to strike on empty properties, tagging ourselves in locations and posting real-time pictures of ourselves on holidays may give them the nod your home’s empty.
“A recent study found posting to social media on holiday or even boasting about new purchases puts you at risks of being robbed, so make sure to keep your profile private and restricted to friends and family only.
“Don’t post your holiday pics until you’re back.”
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What to do if you have been burgled
Call the police
The first thing you should do is ring the police. Izzy said: “This helps them gather evidence quickly to increase the chances of recovering your lost items and finding the culprit while they’re still in the area.
“Don’t touch anything and resist the urge to tidy the property. Forensics teams and crime officers look for foot and fingerprints or signs of unique or specific items used to break in, to give them a greater chance of finding the criminal.”
Next, Izzy advised: “Make a list of the items that have been stolen or damaged during the burglary.
“If possible, note down any useful or unique details about the items, like engravings or personalisation, as these will make them easier to identify.
“Get in touch with your bank if any cards were stolen so they can freeze the account and stop them being used.
“Online banking gives you instant access to your account so you can look for any recent activity that may help with the investigation.”
Contact your insurance company
Izzy said: “Let your insurance company know you’ve been burgled as soon as possible.
“You can speed up the claims process by digging out any product receipts or proof-of-purchase documents to send over to them.
“If you have home insurance cover (which is recommended) check the policy and see what’s covered.
“Typically, you’ll be covered for home damages and theft, which should give you a bit of peace of mind in a stressful time.”
Take care of yourself
A recent survey found 35 percent of burglary victims suffered some form of depression or anxiety, while another revealed around 1 in 8 people never fully recover from the emotional impact of a break-in.
He said: “One of the best ways to reduce the emotional impact of a home break-in is to ease yourself back into a normal routine. It may seem tough but isolating yourself only increases stressful thoughts.
“Keeping busy can help. Regular exercise and getting enough sleep helps reduce the effects of stress and anxiety.”
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