Home break-ins are thankfully not too prevalent, with around 1% of households being the target of thieves. A working alarm system, preferably one which is fitted and maintained by an NSI Gold Standard supplier, is the biggest deterrent there is to burglars. It is worth investing in monitored CCTV or burglar alarm systems with a police response if you have a lot of valuable items at your home, or if it is left unattended for long periods of time.
People often think that a TV or bike is the main target for a burglar, but electrical items are actually third on the list of items stolen in home burglaries. The most popular items are jewellery, watches, cash and wallets. These are small enough to be easily concealed and they are easy to sell, or spend if they have found cash in your home. Someone carrying a television down the street or loading one into a car at night is likely to attract attention, especially if you have observant neighbours who would notice something amiss. In order not to stand out burglars usually target small, concealable items.
Laptops and tablets are second on the list; as again, they can be small enough to slip into a pocket or bag without looking suspicious. Unsurprisingly furniture is second to last on the list, as it is not easy to remove a sofa without attracting attention, and documents, car keys and financial information was the last of the top 10. We can see that having a safe might be a good idea; even if your financial and personal documents aren’t the main target of a break-in there is room for jewellery and cash inside too.
Most domestic burglaries are completed in less than 10 minutes – once they have what they want they’ll be out of there in a flash, as the longer they stay inside the property the more likely they are to be disturbed. We know that most burglars will have an idea of what they are after and will look in the obvious places, so hiding your jewellery in your dresser drawer is not going to throw them off. A small safe can be fitted almost anywhere in your home, it just has to be bolted to the floor. This means you can have a safe in the kitchen, a bathroom or even under the stairs behind the hoover – all places a thief is unlikely to search. Expensive or sentimental jewellery should be photographed, so they can be returned if they are recovered or needed for evidence in case of an insurance claim.
If you have an expensive car it is a good idea to keep the keys secure at all times as well, thieves might be tempted to grab your keys while they’re inside and take a joyride home and in some incidents cars are stolen as the main target of the break-in. It might not be practical to put them in the safe every night but they should not be kept on a hallway table or hanging by the door. Purses and wallets need the same sort of protection and if you do happen to have cash on you that isn’t for immediate use, it could well be worth locking it up – could you afford to lose it? Again, a kitchen or bathroom is a good place to hide valuables as they are the last places thieves will look, and you could even leave decoy cash or jewellery out to make them think they have the goods straight away.
Hopefully these tips have made you think about what items you need to take extra care with, but the best way to stop any of these items from being stolen is to install and use an NSI approved burglar alarm, with monitored response if you are in a high crime area, or have valuable items in your home.