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Protect your home from burglars by making your home more secure than the neighbours’

The level of security required could be relative to your street

A question that we often get asked is “how much security do I need to protect my home?”. Obviously the answer will be different for everyone depending on where you live, the type of house, the value of items you have in your home etc. However, there are also factors that should be taken into consideration that are in fact not so much to do with how secure your home is and everything to do with how secure your neighbours’ homes are.

When a burglar is selecting which house to burgle they will run through a number of questions:

  • How easy would it be to break in?
  • What potential value is there to take from the house?
  • What is the likelihood of getting caught?
  • Are there easy access points?
  • Would I be seen?
  • Taking all of the above into consideration, which house on this street is the best option?

Therefore, it’s not just about your home looking both secure and unattractive as a potential target, it’s about it looking more so than your neighbours’ homes.

How secure are the houses on your street?

Take a look around your street and your neighbourhood. Do the other houses have burglar alarms? Do they have CCTV? Do they keep their windows closed? Are they clear of large hedges or trees that could offer cover? etc. Then look at your house. How does it compare? If you imagine a burglar scoping out your street for opportunities, which house would you choose? If there is one with an alarm and one without. If there is one with plenty of cover and one that is clear and exposed. If there is one with CCTV, or windows shut up tight or nothing of any value visible through the windows and one that doesn’t have any of that, which would you choose? You already know the answer to that of course.

The level of security that your home requires, to a degree, therefore is relative. The ideal scenario is to make it look like the most secure house on the street so if other houses don’t tend to have burglar alarms, it may be enough to just get a burglar alarm. If most do have alarms it could be wise to get a more secure looking alarm (perhaps an illuminated bell box that’s very visible and looks like part of a modern system) or even some CCTV.

How attractive your home is to a burglar could be determined by the position on the street (how easy it is to get away afterwards, corner plots that have better nooks and crannies to hide in, houses with access to the back via pathways and snickets etc) and by your ‘behaviour’ ie keeping windows closed when not in the roof, keeping doors locked at all times, not leaving valuables on view etc. Making changes to behaviours are easy to do but if your home is in a more vulnerable position then you may need to work a bit harder than your neighbours: eg install security lighting; keep hedges trimmed back; install locks on garden gates etc.

Neighbour V Neighbour?

Now it might sound from reading this that security is a case of pitting neighbour against neighbour, each vying to ‘out-secure’ the next but it doesn’t have to be like that. Communities can work together to create a secure environment for all. On any street there will be people who are around during the day and those up late at night so if everyone is vigilant you can keep an eye on each other’s houses; you could even form some kind of Neighbourhood Watch group. If all houses within the street have good security, it could make the whole neighbourhood not worth the risk for burglars.

We have found in the past that once someone on the street has an alarm installed, other houses nearby often follow suit. We’ve even got streets where our alarm bell boxes feature on almost every house! We’re not saying that you should feel pressure to keep up with the Joneses but likewise, you don’t want to be the weakest link on the street. If you can’t run to a new alarm or CCTV then at least make sure you’re doing what you can to minimise the risk: keep valuables out of sight; lock your doors; keep windows closed when not in the room and keep hedges trimmed back.

If you would like advice on how to up your security you can call us on 0800 612 9799 or send us a message.