With more than 500,000 reported burglaries in the UK each year, fresh research from MoneySuperMarket looks at how people can protect themselves against possible threats, with some interesting findings that that you may care to share with your tenants.
The study found that the most popular home security method employed by 42% of the British public is to double-lock their doors, with 39% ensuring all doors are double locked before leaving the house or going to bed.
But while this does discourage some burglars, 70% of burglars still gained access via doors last year. Of these, 29% got in by forcing the locks, 10% broke or cut a panel of the door and 15% simply entered through an unlocked door.
With security risks high, there are a number of different things that your tenants should watch out for, and so you may care to share the following tips:
Close your windows – It may seem obvious, but dark evenings provide an easy cover for burglars to sneak in if they spot valuables within an easy distance of your open window
Keep keys safe – placing car and house keys on side tables near your front door makes it easy for thieves to fish them out through the letterbox, so keep these a safe distance away
Keyholes covered with tape – burglars have been placing tape over door locks to see if the house is occupied in a recent spate of robberies in Ireland6, so remain vigilant and check your locks for any tampering
Keeping up appearances – making sure windows are not broken and all access points are sealed can increase security, plus storing any loose tools or ladders out of sight of opportunist thieves7. If you’re away over Christmas ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home, for example ensuring all post is pushed through your letterbox fully
Light timers – using a timer that triggers a light when you’re out will allow it to look like someone’s at home even if the house is empty, discouraging burglars
Replace the locks – old locks may mean previous homeowners still have your keys. Replacing them can add an extra layer of security to the house, while updating older models with modern ones can strengthen security at the same time
Tom Flack, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “As the nights draw in, it’s important to protect your home from theft, as research reveals that over half of burglaries take place during the evening or night.
“Claiming on your home insurance if someone breaks in without forcing entry may be difficult, especially if there is no evidence of a crime being committed. This is known as the duty of care and, to ensure you’re paid out in full, always check windows and doors are locked before you go out, whether you’re just popping to the shops or leaving for an entire evening.
“Always be vigilant and check that your home and contents insurance is up to date. When it’s time to British public treat burglaries renew, it’s important to shop around, as in the event that you’re burgled, you’ll want to be covered by the best policy for the items that matter most.”