Written in collaboration with Trevor Davis

In 2022, law enforcement in the United Kingdom received 250,690 crime reports concerning burglary, representing a 7% increase from 2021’s figures. Even with rising fears, citizens don’t pay enough attention to ensuring their households are protected against potential intruders. Most burglaries occur in the daytime as people are out at work, so there’s little to no chance of being noticed. Contrary to popular opinion, thieves don’t sneak in the middle of the night when everyone’s asleep. Robbers have different motivations, yet the primary one is the need for money. For the most part, a locked door is all it takes to keep a burglar out. However, some thieves have become more sophisticated and use creative methods to force an entry.

Be certain you’re not leaving your home as a target for potential burglars. But what are the most effective ways to deter thieves? Well, let’s find out, shall we?

Have two locks & use them at all times

As the saying goes: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour.” If you only have one lock on the front door, opportunists will break into your home. This is why it’s useful to have two locks to separate your home from the outside world. If an intruder disables one lock, they still have to get through the second one which takes time they don’t have. When it comes down to your safety, the last thing you want to do is to cut corners. So, consider two locks and, most importantly, use them at all times. This is pretty self-explanatory, but if you’re not going to use them, your home is just as vulnerable as any other.

Burglar-proof your windows

While some burglars use the front door, others get in through the window. The point is they don’t go to great lengths to get into your home and will look for the easiest and most discrete route in. Securing your windows will keep your household safe from potential intruders.

Property owners are advised to consider investing in security glazing, which is designed to resist human efforts to assault. Security glazing and safety glazing aren’t the same thing, as the latter is designed to stand up to direct hits or large blasts for a short period of time. A polycarbonate sheet is a common option for security glazing because it can withstand repeated strikes, and its unique properties allow it to absorb impacts. For example, if a bullet were to strike it, it would remain trapped within the sheet.

A polycarbonate sheet is also a discrete and aesthetically pleasing option. But as an alternative, you could install window security bars as a burglar deterrent owing to the quality of their construction and versatile designs. Those looking to break into your home and steal your possessions will be at a loss. Swing-away security bars are an option that allow you to swing them away without uninstalling them; they have a lock or a quick-release mechanism that is accessible only from the inside. Additionally, different screws will make your windows harder to open, so use tamper-proof fasteners to put an end to theft (and vandalism).    

Put up a fence

A fence makes your home an impenetrable fortress. If you don’t want to extend an invitation for an intruder to try and break in, solid wood fencing isn’t a great option. It provides a burglar with much-needed coverage to force an entry and rob your home unnoticed. Metal is the best material if you’re worried about your household’s security because individual rails can be made tall and capped with narrow points. If you’re going to install or update your fencing, make your fence harder to climb to make your house more secure. For instance, you can install a trellis to give your fence extra height or add anti-climb spikes. Anti-climb spikes are allowed, provided you include a notice saying something like: “Caution: Stay clear to avoid personal injury”.

Think about where you display things

Design lies within the details, which means that adding the right pieces can tie all the elements of the décor together. Unfortunately, the way you display things could make you a burglary target. To be more precise, signalling an affluent home is a giveaway that you have disposable cash. Thieves process visual cues when prowling your neighbourhood. One of the best places to store valuables is in the loft because robbers aren’t brave enough to go in there; if they attempt to go into the loft, they may get stuck as there is no way out. Even an innocent post on Facebook can put you at high risk, so don’t flaunt your expensive lifestyle.

It’s a good idea to watermark all your valuables so that the objects can be traced back. Common sense also plays an important part in securing your home against burglary. Don’t have a window-facing calendar that clearly documents the dates you’re going to be away, allowing thieves to plan their future robberies. It shouldn’t be readable for outsiders looking in. Also, don’t leave your bags and suitcases in plain sight because it’s an obvious sign the house will be empty. It’s best not to place the Christmas tree in front of the window because it lets burglars know there’s an opportunity to grab some goods.

Don’t rely on your dogs alone

Dogs are major deterrents in attempts to burglarize homes, but they can’t always prevent a break-in. Some robbers are unfazed by the dog’s barking. Additionally, if the dog isn’t trained, an intruder might distract their attention using food or toys; within minutes, they become best friends. The best (and only) way to burglar-proof your home is to combine your canine with other security measures. If you use a “Beware of the Dog” sign, thieves will know there’s an animal on the property but no security system. It’s a chance to enter the premises without triggering any devices.

Concluding thoughts

All in all, your home isn’t immune to burglars, and there are no rules when it comes to how a burglar breaks in. Not only do you suffer property damage and lose irreplaceable items, but you also suffer mental and emotional distress. Most thieves run the moment they hear you approach, but some will hide in your home. If you do come home to find your home has been burgled, leave the house and call 999; don’t touch anything until the police say it’s okay to do so. 

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