With a rise in robberies across the London Boroughs being reported, all householders need to be alert and more aware of the risks of burglaries at our homes. As we continue in our everyday lives, the majority of us, me included, think that nothing terrible could ever possibly occur at my home, yet the Police authority and some Insurance companies state that a large proportion of the population are careless when it comes to looking after our homes.
Be a Hero!
The Metropolitan Police have set up a campaign, asking people to become a Hero, to prevent doorstep crime – and are promoting this across social media channels, for high impact value. Here are some common factors that often result in burglaries at home:
• Many people leave their homes without locking their front door or windows. The most common entry point for a burglar, is through an unlocked front door, or an open window at the property.
• It’s a fact that burglar alarms are often ignored when sounding in the street, while many householders don’t even bother to set them when they leave the house.
• Only a small number of burglaries occur when the home is occupied, so take action to bluff the burglar into thinking you’re at home. Leave a radio playing, and have lights set on timers to come on and click off at different times during darkness. Of course don’t leave your front porch light on all day, as this advertises the fact that you’re out and won’t be home until after darkness.
• A burglar will sometimes return to the same house, as he is aware of your vulnerabilities. He may have a set of your keys, and will be expecting that you have replaced the goods he stole in the first visit with your insurance pay out. Don’t wait until you are the victim of a break-in, to inspect and upgrade your home security.
• It’s a fact that more burglaries take place during the summer months. People spend more time in their gardens, often leaving doors unlocked and windows open to air the house. Of course, more homes are unoccupied when the occupants are away on holiday. An empty home is an easier risk to a robber.
So how can you prevent becoming a statistic of a break in and burglary?
Social Media – be wise when posting updates on social media, or you’re at an increased risk of being burgled. If you check into Facebook at the airport, and post your holiday selfies, you are alerting opportunist thieves to the fact that your home is empty.
Fitness Apps – take care when using Strava and other fitness apps that show your social media followers your location for a cycle or run, as it can also alert a burglar to your home being vacant at certain times of the day and night.
Lock the burglar out – ensure that your security on windows and doors is secure and up to date. Deadlocks and five lever locks make the best deterrents. Always double lock your doors, even if you’re only popping out for a short while. An up to date camera monitoring system won’t stop the burglar, but you may well capture his image on screen.
Make it look like you’re at home – ask a friend to visit your home every day to collect your post, if you go on holiday. A pile of junk mail on the front door carpet is a sure notification that the house is empty. Likewise, ask someone to mow the grass if you’re not going to be at home for a couple of weeks. Burglars tend to monitor homes before a break in, to check for people coming and going, and this is a way to put them off.
Hire a dog nanny or pet sitter – One of the specialist services I offer, is home sitting your pets. You can have complete peace of mind when you’re on holiday, or away on business, knowing that not only is your pet is being well looked after, but also your home too. I’m happy to water your plants and put out the rubbish bins too. Going away needn’t be a stressful experience for your pets, and you have the added knowledge that my presence in your home offers enhanced security and a deterrent to unwanted intruders.
At this time of the year, burglars are true opportunists and they are just waiting for the chance that you will let down your guard. Get into the habit of doing a “perimeter check” around your home before you leave. Move all your valuables out of view if anyone can see through your windows, and lock all doors and windows securely. Stop crime on your doorstep!