Skip to main content

Securing your home

A key fob shaped like a house with a heart cut out of it dangling from a key in a lock.
Click to enlarge

Make your home unattractive to burglars and thieves

Home burglaries can be devastating. Victims are left with a mess to clear up. They have a huge admin burden dealing with reporting the incident and replacing items that they need for day-to-day life. There is also the emotional impact of losing treasured items that have sentimental value; and the icky feeling that someone has been in their personal space.

Burglars tend to circle homes before they break in, and there are steps you can take to make your home an unappealing prospect for th.

Ensure the outside of your home is well lit

Burglars prefer to work unobserved, so they will avoid a well-lit house.

Install a visible burglar alarm

A visible burglar alarm will encourage a thief to think that your property is more trouble than it’s worth.

Make your property appear occupied

Use timer switches to put lights and radios on. Burglars don’t like the idea of confronting an angry homeowner, so anything that makes your home look ‘alive’ will deter them.

Lock up ladders and tools

Burglars will look for unsecured ladders and tools that they can use to break into your home. So lock ladders away in a shed, or chain them to something immovable. And if you don’t have a secure space, or want to use your shed space for carpentry or gardening tasks, consider getting a self-storage unit.

Let the neighbours help

Ask your neighbours to keep an eye on your home. They might challenge someone who looks out of place or call the police. Keep your front hedge trimmed so that passers-by can have a good view of your home. This makes it harder for a burglar to work unobserved.

Repair damaged swiftly

If your property gets damaged, repair it quickly. Broken windows and graffiti seem to attract vandals, who may do more damage and make it look as if your house is unoccupied. Broken fences will make it easier for thieves to get into your property.

Lock the door when you go out

Get the habit of locking your door every time you go out. An unlocked door allows a burglar quick access to your home. But by locking your door you make it harder for them to gain access. Lock side gates, too, to keep thieves out of your back garden, where they are less likely to be seen by neighbours or passers-by.

Mark your property

You can mark some valuables with your postcode and house number. The police recommend registering it with Immobilise, the UK National Property Register. Immobilise also sells stickers and labels that you can use to warn thieves that your property will be difficult for them to sell on.

Secure high value items

Keep high value items out of sight from ground-floor windows. If a thief cannot see anything worth stealing, they will probably move on. Consider whether it is better to keep some items like jewellery in a bank safe rather than at home. And take extra care securing bicycles, as it is easy for a thief to ride away.

You may decide that you feel more secure keeping sporting equipment, antiques or valuable collectables outside your home. Some self-storage units offer enhanced security features like CCTV or supervised access. And of course you can insure your stored goods. As a condition of your contract you will have to have insurance at public storage facilities – but remember, you don’t have to take the insurance they offer. It can pay to shop around, so make sure you get a quote from Store and Insure. Your Store and Insure policy will cover single items worth up to £1,500.

As you can see, securing your home is as much about good habits as it is about active security features like alarms. A few simple changes to your routines can be enough to make potential burglars pass you by.