Burglaries have become increasingly common with every other person having a story about how they, or someone they know, got burgled.
It not only affects the victims financially but also leaves an emotional impact with feelings of helplessness and vulnerability.
What can be done to reduce this menace? Well, the first step of beating these criminals at their own game is to gather as much information as you can about how they think and act.
Knowledge is power, as is with every other thing in this world, and will help you immensely in coming up with a viable plan to secure yourselves and your loved ones against burglaries and intrusions.
Thanks to movies, we have a perception of burglars donned in ski caps, sneaking into houses through a window in the dead of the night. Well, movies are called fiction for a reason since not everything they depict is 100% true.
Not all burglars wear black, cover their face with a mask, and break-in at night. In fact, the opposite of this is true. The most common time of burglaries is during the day when no one is home.
WHEN DO BURGLARS BREAK IN?
When you think of an intruder breaking into your home, you most likely imagine them sneaking in the middle of the night when you’re sleeping. In reality, it is quite the opposite.
Research suggests that most burglars break in during the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays. This is because you’re less likely to be home during the day, especially during the 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. window.
Following are the reasons why so many burglars prefer the daytime to break-in:
- The house is likely to be empty. While most people are at home during the night, it is the complete opposite during the day. Adults are in their offices or running errands and kids are in school. This gives burglars ample time to break in without any interruption.
- Daytime routines are more predictable. Burglars are smart and take their time gathering valuable information about their targets, such as their routines. Since most people follow set schedules from Monday to Friday during the day, it makes it easier for burglars to know the “safe” times to break into the property.
- It is less suspicious. Approaching a home during the night immediately raises suspicion, but during the daytime, it is much easier for burglars to come up with an explanation. They can pretend to be a salesperson or handyman and are less likely to alert the neighbours and passers-by.
- People are less cautious during the day. We are made to believe that night-time is way more dangerous and carries a higher chance of being broken into. Because of this, we are more careful at night while generally putting our guard down during the day. For instance, you may leave the door or window unlocked to let some fresh air in.
WHAT DO BURGLARS STEAL AND WHERE DO THEY LOOK?
Now that you know about the most common times that burglars try to break in, you also need to know what items in particular most of these petty thieves are after.
Most burglaries take less than 10 minutes, leaving the burglars with extremely limited time to grab valuable items with a good resale value in this small window of opportunity.
Because of this, most professional burglars assess and evaluate the property before breaking in, giving them just the right information to get in and out in a matter of minutes.
Some obvious items that burglars steal include cash, jewellery and watches, and small electronics. Other not so obvious items include medicines, keys, guns, designer clothes and accessories, personal information, and food and alcohol.
Cash is convenient, portable, untraceable (unlike credit cards), and usually the first thing that burglars look for. Common places to look for cash include the drawers and cupboards in the master bedroom, as well as under the mattress and unusual places such as inside a vase, shoebox, or cereal box in the kitchen.
Jewellery and watches are two other favourite items that burglars steal due to their worth and great resale value, and are usually found on the dresser, nightstand, or bedroom cupboard.
Small electronics such as laptops, tablets, and phones are a great steal since they are very easy to sell off for a good amount of money and also very easy to carry.
Medicines and prescription drugs are unusual but commonly stolen items from a lot of homes due to an increase in addiction to painkillers and tranquilisers, and because there is a huge black market where prescription drugs sell even easier than gadgets and electronics.
Your house and car keys are also a part of this list. A lot of burglars are known to steal house keys to either sell them off to their peers or easily let themselves in the next time.
They are usually kept in pretty obvious places near the entrance to quickly grab on your way out, also making it easy for burglars to steal. Some people even leave their keys in the back of the door, which is a huge security risk.
Documents such as bank statements, passports, and birth certificates are also on many burglars’ target lists since they can be used to mine your data and blackmail you, target you for fraud, and even steal your identity.
HOW TO TELL IF A BURGLAR IS WATCHING YOUR HOUSE?
Contrary to popular belief, most burglars aren’t obvious and don’t stalk you and your property wearing all black in the middle of the night.
Many burglars are most active during the day and try to appear as discreet as possible. Therefore, it is very important to stay vigilant and look for signs that indicate your house is being watched by potential burglars.
When choosing a house to target, burglars “case” it, which means assessing how easy or difficult it is to break in, taking note of your routine and daily schedule, and keeping an eye out for items of value.
The signs to look out for include:
- Strange people around your property or unidentified vehicles parked in your neighbourhood.
- Strangers taking photos outside your property.
- People posing as door-to-door salespersons or claiming to be service providers to gain entry into your home.
- People faking emergencies to gain access into your property. These may include excuses such as their car breaking down or them being in an accident to get inside your house.
- Leaving flyers at your door since they are used as markers to show which house is a likely target and also to determine which homeowners come back home the earliest by seeing if the flyers have been picked up or not.
- Strange symbols and drawings around your house that may be a secret code for burglars to communicate with each other and mark their potential targets.
HOW TO BURGLE-PROOF YOUR HOUSE REGARDLESS OF THE TIME
Regardless of when burglars prefer to strike, you must make sure your property remains safe and protected from threats, all day and all night.
In order to do that, you need to burgle-proof your house to keep such criminals far away from you and your property.
Simple steps such as reinforcing your doors and windows, lighting up the property, and installing a security system can be what stands between you and targeted crime.
Here are some of the best ways you can make sure your house always stays off burglars’ target list:
Reinforce your doors and windows
One of the first things that burglars look for when targeting your house to break into is how easy it is to enter without getting noticed.
The doors and windows are the most common entry points for burglars, with around 67% of them using the front door to break in, making it extremely important to reinforce them to withstand forced entry.
Sturdy construction materials such as wood, composite, and uPVC will make them strong enough to prevent break-ins using common tools, coupled with good quality locks and steel bars if needed.
Invest In good quality locks
Two things make a door strong: the material it is built with and the quality of the locks on it. When choosing a good quality lock to prevent unauthorised access, there are several great options to choose from.
Some of the best ones include deadbolts, mortice locks, rim locks, lever locks, and anti-snap cylinders or Euro locks. If you wish to take your home security a step further, you may also invest in keyless entry systems for your home.
In addition to installing a good locking mechanism on your door, make sure to be careful about who you hand over your keys or access credentials to.
Also, if you are moving into a new house, make sure you change all the locks before you bring in all your possessions to make sure that no unauthorised individuals have access.
Light it up
While it is true that most burglars prefer breaking in during the day, there are still many out there who wait for nightfall to use the darkness as a cover.
This is made possible when homeowners leave the exterior of their houses dark at night, and if you are one of them, you are actually setting up the ground for burglars to break into your property.
Using security lights to keep the outdoor area of your house properly lit is an effective burglary deterrent and keeps potential criminals at bay by not only indicating that the house is occupied but also making the intruders’ actions visible to you and your neighbours.
Hide your valuables
Avoid leaving cash, keys, expensive gadgets, and other high-value items near the doors and windows since they become easy to access and steal.
Make it a habit to draw the curtains and close the blinds to avoid stalkers and potential burglars from peeking inside your property since it helps them get an idea of the house’s layout and lock their targets on specific items of value such as your laptop left on the table near the window or the television in the living room.
Invest in a safe
Experienced and seasoned burglars know exactly what to steal and where to look. You may think that your special under-the-mattress hiding spot for your cash is a good one, but in reality, all these hiding spots have become too common and one of the first places that burglars look in.
What can you do then? The best way is to stay away from these common hiding spots and invest in a home safe that won’t just keep your valuables safe from theft but also the risk of floods and fires.
Security safes can be used to store a variety of things including cash, jewellery, watches, guns, debit and credit cards, and personal documents such as birth certificates and bank statements.
There are various types of home safes available for you to choose from and they come in a range of locking mechanisms such as traditional key locks, digital locks, combination locks, and biometric locks.
Befriend your neighbours
Befriending your neighbours may not only help you socially but also plays a crucial role in your security. A close-knit neighbourhood where everyone looks out for one another is a burglar’s worst nightmare and what keeps them away.
You can count on your neighbours to keep a check on who visits your house in your absence and alert you in case of something suspicious. That way, even if you are away, there will always be someone trustworthy nearby to keep a lookout for threats.
Install a security alarm system
They work using different types of sensors such as door and window sensors, vibration detectors, and passive infrared (PIR) detectors, and don’t just keep criminals away from your property but also scare them away if they try to break in.
The sensors are placed on all the potential entry points around the house, all of which are connected to an alarm system that gets triggered as soon as some unusual movement is detected.
You may opt for a basic bells-only burglar alarm system that relies on people nearby to respond to it or go for one with more advanced features such as professional monitoring and notification alerts.
Install CCTV cameras
The mere sight of a CCTV camera is enough to send a criminal running away for cover. One of the most effective burglary deterrents out there, installing CCTV cameras can help you protect your property against all sorts of security threats.
They record everything that comes in their field of view and don’t just deter criminals but also provide valuable evidence in the form of recorded CCTV footage.
The reason that burglars avoid targeting homes under CCTV surveillance is the fear of being recorded on camera and getting identified and caught.
There are many different types of CCTV cameras to choose from and the type you choose for your home security depends on various factors such as the placement of the cameras (indoors or outdoors), the lighting conditions, the field of view, and the camera’s resolution.
While you are allowed under the law to place CCTV cameras on your private property, their use must be as transparent as possible to the people around you, which can best be achieved by putting up signs that the area is under surveillance.
Also, you must place the cameras in a way that they don’t infringe on your neighbour’s privacy and take full responsibility for the system and its recordings, ensuring that the information is not used for any purpose other than security.
Consult with a security expert
At Calder Security, we provide a comprehensive range of security solutions that include not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services.
We are experts in the field of home security and can recommend the best security solutions to burglar-proof your home and make it safe from all kinds of threats.
We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), approved members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards.
We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security systems that include burglar alarms, CCTV systems, access control systems, locking mechanisms, and security safes.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our security experts right away!