Five Things that Make a Home Attractive to Thieves
By Martin Cooper
Feb 14, 2018
According to research undertaken by Asda Money, it is not during the night that homes are more likely to be broken into. In fact, the majority of domestic burglaries occur between the hours of 6am and 12pm, with tech – in particular the iPad – the most common items targeted.
Perhaps the most alarming thing revealed by the research though has to be that a large number of break-ins are down to forgetfulness, with unlocked doors proving to be the most popular point of access.
According to the Police crime prevention and advice website, homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures. The recommended advice is that good window locks and strong deadlocks can make a big difference. Of course, however, simply fitting these measures is not enough: they need to be used.
Burglars are not fans of a challenge and are opportunists: if they try a door or window and find it unlocked, that’s their target in the bag. We’ve ascertained then that an unsecured home is prime bait for thieves, but what else can make a home attractive to an intruder? Here we look at five things a burglar will look for when choosing their target.
1. Hiding Places
Thieves love a place to hide so they can attempt their illicit entry covertly and out of sight of neighbours’ prying eyes. Bushes hiding a front door or low hanging trees covering a window are an intruder’s best friend, as is anything that obscures points of entry such as solid fencing.
Be sure to keep trees well pruned and opt for prickly or thorny bushes such as holly or roses. There’s no reason why you should forgo attractive landscaping, just choose your plants strategically.
2. Empty Properties
We’ve already learnt that most break-ins happen between the hours of 6am and 12pm, which would suggest that intruders are targeting homes where the occupants have left for work or the school run. Homes that are unoccupied for longer periods, such as during holidays, are even more at risk.
Even if you are just dropping the kids to school, do your best to make it look like someone is home and ALWAYS lock ALL doors and windows, even if you are only going to be out for a few minutes. Calling back to say ‘bye, see you in a bit’ even when no one is left in the house is a great tip, especially if there is a potential intruder lurking nearby observing who is off out. If you’re going away on holiday, use timers to switch lamps on when it gets dark or make use of your smart home features to control lighting, open and close curtains and switch the TV or music on and off. Ask a neighbour or friend to call round regularly to pick up the post, sweep any leaves from the door and check that all is well.
3. Easy Access
If a thief sees a simple way in, they will be sure to make good use of it. Children’s garden toys and rubbish bins are useful props to help an intruder reach an open or unsecured window. Entry points that are weak through disrepair are another favourite of the opportunist, as are unsecured side or back entrances.
Always lock anything away that could be used for climbing and secure bins away from potential entry points. Be sure to keep your doors and windows in good repair and invest in high quality locks for side and back entryways.
4. Social Invitations
We are all embracing the social and digital age, and burglars are no exception. How often do you go on holiday or out for the evening and share your experience with your friends and family by posting photos and updates on your social channels?
Always be mindful when sharing your whereabouts with the world at large, you never know who could be watching. Even with your privacy settings cranked up to high, you still need to be careful, because worryingly, research shows that many burglars actually know their victims. So be on your guard even if you are certain only your ‘friends’ can see your online posts.
5. Homes Without Visible Security Measures
If a potential intruder can’t see an alarm or CCTV system, they are certain to be more inclined to attempt an entry.
An intruder alarm doesn’t just act as an excellent security measure, alerting you or a response service to a potential break-in, it also provides a very effective deterrent. This goes for any visible security measure, from CCTV and outdoor sensor lighting to quality locks.
Expert Advice on Securing Your Home
If you are looking to tighten up your home security, perhaps because there have been reports of burglaries in your neighbourhood recently or you’ve had an attempted break-in, the experts at Barry Bros Security can provide you with all the helpful advice you need. Our friendly team offers tailored solutions, so why not get in touch today to chat through how we could assist you?