Keeping your home safe

It’s important to feel safe in your own home. According to the police, homes with no security measures are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures in place.

If your home has been burgled, it can affect your finances but also impact your emotional wellbeing and sense of security. You can contact us for support even if you haven’t reported the crime.

Here are some tips to protect your home from burglars:

Inside your home

  • Lock your door when you’re at home as well as when you go out. It might sound obvious but it can go a long way in preventing opportunist thieves stealing valuables from your home.
  • Keep your windows shut or consider fitting window restrictors if you like to leave the window open when you’re asleep. Good window locks can also make a difference.
  • Hide all valuables, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox.
  • Keep things that could indicate items of value such as charging cables for tablets or laptops away from windows and doors.
  • If

Outside your home

  • Consider installing extra security such as CCTV or outside security lights to deter potential burglars.
  • Store ladders and tools, which could be used to break in, somewhere secure such as a shed or garage.
  • Trim overgrown plants and shrubs so there aren’t any hiding places for burglars.
  • Don’t hide keys in obvious places, like outside the front door. Burglars will often look in the letterbox or under a plant pot as a matter of course.
  • Don’t leave packaging/parcel materials against your bins. It advertises the goods that are in the home.
  • Gravel driveways and paths may act as a deterrent to burglars as they’re noisy underfoot.

When you’re away

  • Make your home look lived-in – burglars won’t be attracted by a full house. Consider using the Royal Mail’s ‘keepsafe’ service – they keep your mail for up to two months while you’re away.
  • Cancel regular deliveries, such as milk and newspapers.
  • Sharing too much detail on social media, such as your holiday plans, could give a burglar information about when your home will be empty. Think about who can see this before you post it.
  • Consider joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. These are run by communities for communities so each one is different.

Protecting your garden

  • If you have a side garden gate ensure you always lock it. And make sure it’s in good condition: if the wood is rotten or the hinges are rusty, it may look like an easy option to break into.
  • Remove hanging branches/foliage from around windows and doors to keep your view of the garden clear.
  • If you have a garden wall at the front of your home, keeping it low will make sure thieves have nowhere to hide.
  • Could a thief climb over your fence? If you have fences in your garden, consider adding a lightweight trellis to the top of it and spiky plants such as roses. The trellis won’t bear the weight of a burglar while thorny plants may put them off climbing over and potentially injuring themselves.
  • Consider marking valuable items with your details, for example by using a UV security pen.
  • Check your insurance policy to see if you’re covered in case of theft of valuable garden items.

Securing sheds and other outbuildings

  • Keep outbuilding doors locked at all times. Consider using or upgrading locks or padlocks.
  • If your outbuilding has windows, consider using wire mesh or grills to help secure them and make entry more difficult. Or you could use something to stop thieves looking in, such as stick-on window sheets, or a curtain or blind.
  • If items are visible through windows, for example lawnmowers and other large or high value items, consider covering them.
  • Check your shed/outbuilding for weaknesses such as rotten wood or weak hinges, which might make entry easy for a burglar.
  • Keep valuables such as tools out of sight and locked away.
  • Consider locking multiple large items together, eg bikes and lawnmowers, to prevent a potential ‘quick getaway’ for a thief.
  • Consider installing a shed alarm (many are wireless and battery-operated) and/or motion sensor security lights to deter criminals.
  • Check your home insurance to make sure your shed or outbuilding’s contents are insured on your policy.

Using CCTV

CCTV can help to deter burglars, but you need to install and use it in a way that respects the privacy of others (eg your neighbours).

Consider what you’d like the camera to capture. For example, your front door, your drive or outbuildings in your garden, and where you can position the camera to minimise intrusion or overlooking anybody else’s property.

Other resources