Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Platinum Immobilien AG > Blog > Security: how to protect yourself from burglary!

Security: how to protect yourself from burglary!

Every autumn, the need for security increases among the Swiss population. Burglars take advantage of the dark evenings to break into apartments and houses unnoticed. This is why it is important to take precautions and understand the three key burglary protection methods.

Anyone who has ever been affected by a domestic burglary knows the feeling of utter helplessness. Firstly, cherished objects are stolen and secondly, the feeling that a stranger has had access to your home is extremely distressing. Often, those affected are unable to sleep for weeks or even months, suffer panic attacks and simply no longer feel safe.

While there is no such thing as 100% protection against burglary, there are lots of things you can do to optimise your security. Because, the more difficult it is to break into your house or apartment, the more likely it is that a burglar will give up or be deterred.

Identify and rectify any weak spots

The first step is always to analyse your house and rectify any weak spots. Burglars always look for the easiest way to enter. In the case of detached homes, patio or balcony doors, basement exits, windows and conservatories are the main weak spots. In the case of apartment blocks, however, these are usually the main entrance door and inadequately secured individual apartment doors. And here, too, many offenders also break in via windows or balconies – even on the upper floors.

As an initial step, we therefore recommend analysing your current situation to find out which measures can be implemented quickly and practically.

The three key burglary protection methods

First method: personal behaviour

If you leave doors and windows open when you are out, this not only makes it easier for burglars, but also acts as an invitation. Personal behaviour is therefore very important when it comes to burglary protection. Make sure that you do not leave any windows open – not even slightly ajar or on the upper floors. Position garden furniture and rubbish bins in such a way that they cannot be used as a means of accessing the upper floors. It is also important to leave a key with someone you trust while you are away on holiday, so that they can empty your letterbox and look after your garden. Also take care when posting on social media, because no matter how good your burglary protection is, it will be of little use if you announce and document your absence online.

Second method: structural and mechanical safeguards

Structural security measures are ideal for new-builds: if the main entry points, such as doors, windows, basement stairs and skylights, for example, are planned with a view to increased burglary protection during construction, there will be no need to carry out expensive upgrades at a later date. But mechanical security devices can also be installed in existing buildings. These should ideally be attached to the masonry to impede forced entry. Mechanical security devices are a major deterrent for burglars: if they are unable to gain entry to the interior within a few minutes, they usually give up in order to avoid being caught in the act.

Third method: electronic devices

Nowadays, you can use various electronic devices to detect intruders. Comprehensive protection is available – from simple motion sensors and video surveillance to alarm systems. Just like mechanical barriers, electronic security devices significantly minimise the risk of burglary, because they act as a deterrent.

So which method is the best?

In order to ensure comprehensive burglary protection, a combination of all three methods is required.

Our Engel & Völkers online guide contains extensive information about security and burglary protection. The guide is free and available both online and in printed form in our Engel & Völkers shops.

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