It is often something that we hear about on the news or in the local papers, but something that we never think about happening to us. Break-ins can be extremely intrusive and can leave you feeling lost and hurt. The sense of physical loss from someone rifling through your things and taking your property is different from the emotional upset that comes with a break-in. It feels very personal to have someone unwanted in your home, even if they haven’t taken anything of sentimental value.
Sometimes it can take a while to get over the feeling of intrusion once you have suffered a break-in and unfortunately those who have been burgled will always be more wary when leaving their house in the future. However prevention and preparation is always better than repairing something that is broken. Often we think too little about what might happen and only take action to further prevent it after we have already suffered the consequences.
We’ll take a look at a few top tips to prevent thieves from targeting your property for a break-in.
1. Front porch
Although a strange security method, having a lockable front porch is a great way to deter thieves as it provides an extra layer of protection between your home and the open street. Many thieves access people’s houses through their front letterboxes, so if you have a lockable front porch complete with letterbox, this prevents thieves from spying into your home or trying to break the lock through the letterbox.
2. Hiding keys
If you are often away, or you have a pet that needs looking after while you are at work, it is important to leave keys in smart hiding places for people to use them. Under the front door mat and in plant pots are incredibly obvious and this is where thieves will look first!
For short term apartment rentals, owners will often leave the house keys at the rear of the house behind a garden gate, underneath a small coded safe. This is a fantastic way of preventing unwanted entry into your house, because all you need to do is give your intended guest the code and they can let themselves in with little to no hassle. Make sure to change the code every few weeks or so, just in case your friend or relative accidentally lets the passcode slip!
3. What to do when out holidaying
Thieves are looking for empty houses, or houses with little to no activity. This means they have a higher chance of success as the owners of the house may not be back for some time. If you are away, it is wise to ask a friend or a relative to visit your house every now and then to check everything is all right.
Asking a relative to house-sit might be the best solution for this issue, as then people will see cars coming and going in the drive, the curtains will be drawn and closed at night; meaning there are still people in the house. This is far less attractive than a seemingly empty house and it will prevent thieves from marking it out as a target.
4. Security systems
Security systems have been around for decades and are always adept at deterring thieves. Even if you can’t afford a big fancy security system, a simple alarm or door entry system, or even a motion sensor could be enough to stop potential thieves in their tracks. More sophisticated CCTV systems are available, or if you are handy with a webcam you could always try to set one up yourself!
These systems also provide insurance in the event of a burglary, as they may catch the thief on camera and can help in identifying the thief or claiming on home insurance. If you happen to invest in a security system, make sure it is tested and recommended by professional and updated regularly.
5. Laminated and toughened glass
With a wide range of different door styles to choose from, from plain wooden to painted to frosted glass and windowed doors, the type of front door you own could pose a potential target for thieves. If you happen to have a frosted glass door for example, or a door with a small decorative window in it, this could send a signal to thieves. Glass can be broken, or thieves can use it as a porthole to look into your home, where they might see valuable items worth stealing.
If you absolutely must have frosted glass or a decorative stylish window in your door, make sure that the glass is laminated and toughened to prevent attacks from thieves. You can always put pretty frosted glass designs on your front porch if you have to, but we would always recommend a solid front door to effectively deter thieves.
Unfortunately in some cases a break in may be as a result of a personal vendetta and is nothing to do with how secure your home may look. However it is always good to be vigilant and aware and to make sure that you do not advertise yourself to thieves. You may not think very much of leaving your curtains open at night, but just because you wouldn’t look twice in a strangers window it doesn’t mean that same rule applies to everyone else!
Be careful, be aware of where you keep your valuables and keep your keys out of sight!
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with London based door-entry system specialists Rentrifone, who were consult