Keeping your home safe
Take a look at our tips below to protect your home from burglars.
Lock your door
It might sound obvious, but locking your door when you’re at home, as well as when you go out, can stop opportunist thieves stealing valuables from your home if you’re out in the garden or in another room.
Keep valuables out of sight
A thief wants to be in and out of your home as quickly as possible – don’t make it easy for them by leaving valuables in plain sight. This applies especially to car keys; modern cars are virtually impossible to break into, but keys are easy to steal.
Don’t make it obvious that you’re away from home
If your curtains are closed for a week, burglars might guess that you’re away on holiday. If you can, ask a trusted neighbour to open and close your blinds and curtains daily, and use timers on lights, radios and TVs to make it look like someone is home.
Think about extra security
If you’re really worried, think about installing extra security, like alarms, CCTV or security lights. If there’s an alarm blaring and the garden is lit up like a football match they’ll soon move on.
Don’t make it easy for burglars
Don’t hide keys in obvious places, like outside the front door – if you need to leave a key somewhere, ask a friend or someone you trust. Burglars will often look in the letterbox or under a plant pot as a matter of course. Round the back of the house, make sure any tools or ladders are locked safely away. A first floor window left open for ventilation and a ladder left in the garden are an open invitation to thieves.
Join your local Neighbourhood Watch
Neighbourhood Watch schemes are run by communities for communities so each one is different. To find out more about your local group visit the Neighbourhood Watch website.
In the event of flooding
If you have to leave your home due to flooding, there are a number of ways you can protect your home from looting.
Remember: it’s likely you won’t have access to electricity so security alarms and lights won’t work. Planning is key to protection, so if you can, prepare in advance if you know your property is at risk of being flooded and you may have to leave.
- Prepare a ‘go bag’ which you can take with you if you need to leave. This should include keys, jewellery, important documents and medication.
- Keep important paper documents (insurance information, passports etc) in a watertight folder – keep them with you if possible.
- Ensure all windows and doors are secured and locked where possible.
- Turn on a battery powered radio at low volume to give the impression you are at home.
- Where possible, draw your curtains.
- Secure any tools (eg shovels, hammers etc) in the shed or garage so burglars can’t use them to force their way in.
- If you've got fragile windows, cover them with anti-shatter protective film, which will make the glass harder to break.
- Unplug telephones before you leave as once the phone service is restored and before the home is habitable looters may call to check if you’re home.
- Take photographs and note serial numbers of valuables you are forced to leave behind.
- Stay tuned to the Environment Agency website and social media sites for local and up-to-date information.
Most importantly: Don’t put yourself in danger. Your safety is more important than your possessions.