We’ve often talked on this blog about the behaviours that can make you vulnerable to a home break-in. A report entitled Modus Operandi of a Thief by Professor Martin Gill of Leicester University also details these behaviours and puts a figure on how common they are. The statistics are quite worrying.
Everyone suffers from a lapse in concentration sometimes; occasionally forgetting to lock the door or not bothering to set the alarm when popping out for 5 minutes but it would seem that complacency is a much bigger issue than that. It’s little wonder that burglars have no shortage of easy pickings when homeowners are very sloppy with their security.
The report revealed that…
34% of those with alarms rarely bother to set them
That’s a third of people whose home could be protected for want of pressing a button as they leave the house. Of course we understand it’s not as always simple as that; there might be a problem with the alarm, they may have forgotten the code or just have got out of the habit of setting it but these are all issues that can be resolved. A service will usually get an alarm up and running again, even if you don’t have the code or it hasn’t been used for a long time and is definitely worth doing if you already have an alarm in place.
33% of people assume that any alarm they hear sounding is a false alarm
And therefore don’t see a value in having one. It is true that many of the home alarms you hear going off will be false activations but the value of an alarm is not that it brings all your neighbours rushing round to tackle any intruders, it’s to scare the intruders away because they really don’t want to draw any attention to themselves and will want to get away as quickly as possible. An alarm will usually act as a deterrent to burglars so it has value before it is even activated plus a monitored alarm would receive a response from the monitoring centre regardless of whether anyone paid any attention locally.
If you maintain your alarm properly then false activations would actually be pretty rare and therefore much more likely to attract attention than one that is constantly going off.
37% leave doors unlocked while in the house
We’ve covered the issue of insecure burglaries before – burglaries with no forced entries because doors or windows have been left open or unlocked. We all tend to assume that nobody would be foolish to burgle your house when you were at home yet this report also revealed that 22% of burglaries are conducted despite being aware that there were people in the house – that’s how audacious they can be! It takes just a few moments to sneak in through an unsecured door and take items that are close to hand; you may not even realise it has happened until much later. Always keep doors and windows locked even when you’re in and especially if you’re away from the vicinity of the door such as upstairs or in the garden.
64% sometimes leave doors unlocked while away from the house
This is the most staggering statistic of all. Your locks are your first line of defence. Not having appropriate locks would be bad enough but not actually locking your door at all makes you very vulnerable indeed and you may even find that this invalidates your home insurance if you are subjected to a break in as a result (as it could even if you are in the house – see the item above).
You don’t need to be a security expert to know that locking your doors and setting your alarm offer your home better protection than not bothering and yet people are still very complacent about their home security – often until they become victims of a break in. Many people are only prompted to be vigilant AFTER they’ve been caught out when all that upset, loss and disruption could potentially have been avoided. We would urge everyone to at least use the security measures they have at their disposal and, ideally consider, whether enhanced security measures such as a burglar alarm or CCTV would be appropriate to them.
For advice on all types of home security call 0800 612 9799 (from a landline) or 0345 833 5543 (from a mobile).