How to avoid becoming a repeat burglary victim: 10 tips

People who have been burgled have a more than one in four chance of being burgled again.

Anyone who has been burgled will know how traumatic it can be. You feel anger, disbelief, fear and even denial that the crime has taken place. It’s an invasion of your privacy and can result in priceless personal belongings being taken from you.

Voice can offer practical and emotional support to help you cope with the effects of burglary, but the following ten tips will ensure you’re doing as much as possible to limit the chances of it happening to you again.

1. Invest in an alarm system

An alarm system for your home remains a great burglar deterrent. And with technology becoming increasingly affordable, you don’t have to spend a fortune; even CCTV systems that provide a feed to your smartphone won’t break the bank.

2. Always lock your doors when you’re in

Although rare, burglaries can take place while you’re in the house, and while it might be easier to leave the door unlocked, it’s best to make a habit of turning that key once you’re inside.

3. Don’t leave keys for friends and family

Leaving spare keys under flowerpots, mats or bricks is something many of us have done to enable a friend or family member to enter the house, but opportunistic burglars know this. Always arrange to hand over the key in person.

4. Lock away important papers

Burglars are increasingly looking for documentation that can be used for fraudulent activity. Your passport, bank statements and driving licence are just some examples of what they might be after. Lock them away in filing cabinets or well out of sight (in the loft, for instance).

5. Use padlocks

Garden sheds are common targets for burglars – make sure yours has a hefty padlock on the door, and do the same with any entrances to your garden, such as side gates.

6. Record your serial numbers

If the worst happens and you’re burgled again, a list of your possessions’ serial numbers might help you recover them and could also assist with insurance claims.

7. Use timers for your lights

To make it look like someone is still in when you’re out or on holiday, use timers that switch the lights on and off at specific times (you could do the same with the radio). If you want to get a bit more fancy, there are now apps that can control the lights in your home from anywhere.

8. Shut windows

When you go to bed, avoid the temptation to leave windows open – even in the summer. A fan will do just as good a job at keeping you cool and you’ll ensure there’s no easy route into your home.

9. Collect your mail

If you find yourself stepping over an increasingly bulging mound of unopened post every time you get home from work, you might be inadvertently indicating to burglars you’re not home that often – they might even think you’re on holiday.

10. Don’t allow your keys to be ‘fished’

When locking doors from the inside, make sure you remove the keys to avoid burglars ‘fishing’ them from outside.

Need extra help?

Although repeat burglaries take place, they’re still relatively rare, but it’s always good to be prepared and ensure your home is as secure as it should be. Our tips above will help you do just that.

If you need further help – be it emotional or practical – the Voice team is always here for you. Contact us whenever you’re ready.