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Your Home Through the Eyes of A Burglar

Did you know it only takes five minutes for three burglars to ransack your home and get away with the most expensive items you own? Why only three? Because the fewer the hands the less they can carry - but any more than three and the proceeds of their loot will quickly diminish when they split the profits and it’s no longer worth the risk.

Recent surveys, based on the stories of burglars themselves, have uncovered the methods behind the crimes; a study conducted by even revealed the specific areas intruders will target, with one burglar admitting that he went back to the same house several times, reporting that the person ‘just wasn’t learning’.

We all know that the majority of burglaries are opportunistic; burglars will seek out properties that are seen as an easy target - an unlocked door, an open garage or no sign of security systems and your home is fair game.

This post, written by home security specialists Banham, will talk you through surveying your home from the perspective the opportunistic burglar:

What Burglars Look For:

  • They’re on the prowl for the home which presents the smallest risk of detection and the greatest potential for a quick and easy escape
  • The house on the street which looks the least protected
  • That one with little or no outside lighting and easily accessible locks or doors
  • The most concealed property where they are less likely to be disturbed by nosy neighbours or passing cars

Questions to Ask Yourself when Surveying Your Home:

  1. The first and most obvious one is to stand back, take a look at your home from all angles and ask yourself, at first glance, does it look like an easy target?
  2. Is your front garden overgrown? Are your hedges getting a bit high? Do they obscure your windows and doors?
  3. At night, does your home look occupied? Are their lights on inside? Are your curtains drawn?
  4. Are there any security lights or motion sensors that would reveal you as you walked up to the front door or sneaked down the side of your house?
  5. If you have a side gate into your garden is it locked and bolted from the garden side? Is it high enough to deter you from climbing over?
  6. Are your downstairs’ windows open or even locked open? What about that little window you have in the downstairs’ toilet or the study?

Looking at your home like this, from a different perspective and putting yourself in the shoes of burglars, will allow you to spot any weaknesses in your home’s security.

What to do When You’re Going on Holiday:

An unoccupied home is like a sitting duck for burglars. It’s important your home looks lived in all year round, particularly during the dark winter months - but when you’re away from home for a few weeks it’s vital you take a few extra precautions to deter any opportunists:

  • Cancel any newspaper deliveries, as well as the milkman’s deliveries
  • Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home and maybe even bring in your post. If you have a good friendship with your neighbour, give them a spare key so they’re able to gain access if there’s a problem with your home or in case your alarm system goes off.
  • Make sure your garage door is secure, if it’s automated you could disconnect the opening mechanism
  • Timer switches and plugs are an excellent idea to light up your home in the evenings. There are the traditional styles available and then there’s something called the WeMo Switch. This ultra-modern home automation tech allows you to wirelessly control your electronic devices such as your TV, lamp, heaters and stereo from anywhere in the world, through your smartphone or tablet.

A few simple amendments to your home could make a big difference to its security, removing it from the danger zone of being labelled an easy target by the opportunistic burglar.