5 super simple ways to prevent burglary

Unfortunately, burglary is one of the most common crime types we’re likely to experience at some point in our lives. But luckily, there is plenty you can do to minimise the chances of becoming a victim yourself.

It may surprise you to know that over a quarter of burglaries in Northamptonshire result from basic insecurities that can be cured easily – while four percent involve the intruder simply using keys that have been left out.

We’ve taken expert advice from Northamptonshire Police to put together this handy guide of 5 easy ways that you can ensure your property stays safe and secure.

1. Keep your keys out of reach and out of site

Keeping doors locked is a basic first step to preventing crime of this nature – but there’s a few more things you can do with your keys to help ensure your security.

Remove keys from their locks – this makes it harder for an intruder to force entry; Typically, burglars like to smash a window to get keys from their locks in order to open doors and walk in.

On top of this, make sure you keep any keys out of site, so they can’t be ‘hooked’ through a window or a letterbox.

2. Close your windows!

This may sound like we’re stating the obvious but remember that 27% of burglaries result from insecurities – that includes leaving windows open, allowing burglars to let themselves in.

If you’re opening your windows for fresh air or to keep the temperature down, ensure that there are no valuables within touching distance that can be taken by an opportunist, while it’s good practice to not leave multiple windows open around the house which might allow someone to access through the front while you’re in another room at the back.

3. Put your garden tools away

Garden tools are often used as an easy way for thieves to break in to properties.

Additionally, high-value tools such as petrol lawn-mowers or tool boxes should be locked away securely so they can’t simply be taken.

Make sure all your tools – including ladders that can be used to gain access – are stored securely and that any high-value items are locked to an anchor point.

4. Review your shed and garage locks

How easy would it be to break in to your own shed if you needed to?

If it’s an easy enough job for you, it won’t be much of a challenge for a thief, either.

Northants Police advise that “shed doors should be secured with two substantial hasp and staples and two closed shackle padlocks on the outside, one towards the top and one towards the bottom,” while “external hinge screws should be replaced with one-way clutch head screws or coach bolts to prevent them from being removed and access gained from the hinged side.”

You should also consider reinforcing windows with internal metal grills and think about installing a shed or garage alarm.

5. Ensure your house is well lit

This may sound counter-intuitive, but thieves hate brightly-lit houses with security lights, as it exposes them and prevents them from being able to go undetected.

Northamptonshire Police and the Home Office recommend low wattage lights, known as ‘dusk to dawn’ lighting, that uses very little power and therefore costs next to nothing to run.

Ensure your security lights are switched on and out of easy reach of intruders, at least 2.5meters/8ft above ground.

More hints, tips and advice

The above is just a snap-shot of what you can do to lessen your chances of being burgled but they’re super simple to do and will have a massive impact on how intruders look at your home when assessing which property to target.

We’ll be following up with more hints and tips at a later date – if you’d like to find out more in the meantime, click here to visit Northamptonshire Police’s burglary prevention page.