Experiencing a burglary is a traumatic experience for any homeowner, invading both your privacy and sense of security. However, it's worth remembering that most burglaries are crimes of opportunity, which makes it possible to take certain steps to dissuade thieves from targeting your property. The following steps can help to protect your home from burglaries.
1. Install an effective security system
Research conducted by the University of North Carolina found that 83% of convicted burglars would attempt to ascertain whether an alarm is present before committing burglary. Installing a visible home security alarm is therefore one of the simplest, most effective measure you can take against would-be burglars.
2. Don't advertise your absence
If you're going on holiday and have to leave your home unattended, there are still ways to create the illusion of an occupied home. Smart home technology allows you to programme your lights to turn on and off at certain times of day, while other systems will include opening and closing curtains. If your home doesn't yet have this kind of software, consider asking a neighbour to do a quick daily check, collecting your mail and ensuring everything inside is as it should be. Remember to cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries for the duration of your absence.
3. Make sure your locks are fit for purpose.
Dead bolt locks should be at least one inch long, in order to prevent burglars gaining entry by spreading the door frame. Internal anti-saw pins are much more difficult to saw through with a hacksaw, whilst anti-drill features will shatter any drill bits that try to push through.
4. Join or start a neighbourhood watch scheme.
These are a proven deterrent to burglars and also foster a greater sense of community in your neighbourhood. The better you get to know your neighbours, the more likely they are to be in a position to notice suspicious activity around your property.
5. Secure your garden
Your garden can act as a compelling deterrent without sacrificing any aesthetic principles. Consider planting thorny shrubs or bushes next to windows and around borders. This makes it harder for passersby to catch a glimpse of your home's interior, whilst also forming unsuitable hiding places for any prowlers. Trellises on top of fences will also help discourage trespassers, whilst gravel paths and driveways make it difficult for anyone to approach in silence. Installing motion sensor lights will ensure that you're the first to know about any movement on your property after dark, in addition to illuminating your search for the door keys each evening.
6. Be discreet with valuables.
Walk around the parameter of your property to assess how many potentially tempting signifiers of wealth are visible through the windows. If possible, place prized antiques and art at angles that make them less visible from the outside of your house and store jewellery in boxes or a concealed safe. Take photographs of your most treasured items to keep with your insurance policy; these will improve their chances of recovery in the worst-case scenario.
To find a new home with all the latest smart home security technology, visit Engel & Völkers. With a portfolio spanning highly desirable locations worldwide, our friendly agents are always well-placed to guide you towards an ideal new investment.