How to deter opportunistic thieves – 10 ways to make it difficult and dangerous for them to spend time breaking in to your house
- Lights – you should have motion sensor lights outside the house to illuminate any burglar, and lights on a timer switch inside when you are out so they think someone is home.
- A burglar alarm – one security report says that 9 out of 10 burglars would not target a house with a visible burglar alarm.
- A dog – again, many burglars don’t risk entering a house where they think there might be a dog – pop a Beware of the Dog sticker on your door or gate, even if you don’t have one!
- Deadbolt locks – these take a little longer to deal with and so are less attractive to opportunistic thieves. Plus, if the burglar manages to get in through a window, he won’t be able to leave through the door with his (your) booty.
- Make sure your windows, even the small ones, are locked, as many UPVC ones can be prised open. You may like to consider fitting upgraded locks instead of the standard ones, as if a burglar would have to spend time on a more difficult lock or make a noise by smashing the glass, he’d be more likely to give your house a miss.
- Don’t leave valuables or keys visible from windows – it’s an open invitation to let a burglar weigh up the rewards of breaking in against the risk of being spotted.
- Make your garden secure with lockable gates and strong, tall fencing with thorny bushes or trellis – many burglars gain entry from the rear of the house.
- If you’re away for a few days, get a neighbour to put out and bring in the dustbins, collect your post or papers, and open and close curtains. Don’t forget inside lights on timer switches.
- Don’t hide a spare key outside the house – burglars have plenty of experience in finding typical hidey-holes!
- If you have a tall hedge at the front of the house, consider the fact that many such properties are targeted by burglars as the hedge hides their activities from public view.