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Burglaries - Is your home safe?
Burglaries happen on an everyday basis and probably more regularly than some of us can imagine. Some people will never experience a burglary in their life, some people will experience it more than once. My home has been burgled twice in the past, after that I researched a lot about this criminal offence and I made sure I took the right steps to prevent another burglary. I will share with you what houses are at risk of burglaries, at what times burglaries mostly occur, and also we will look at some safety measures you can do to prevent your house from burglars.
There could be many reasons why a burglar would target your house. But there are some factors which make some houses more vulnerable to burglary. So what houses are at risk?
- Houses near criminal offenders (i.e. drug addicts) or houses located in a high crime area
- Houses previously burgled - these houses are up to four times more likely to be burgled than non-burgled houses. The suggested reasons are : easy access or revisiting the house for replaced property.
- Houses near burgled houses - sometimes burglars return to previously burgled houses, and if that house has improved its security measures, they may choose another house nearby.
- Houses on dead ends or cul-de-sacs - these houses are attractive to burglars, as there is significantly less traffic in these areas and also the burglar is less likely to be noticed by neighbours.
- Houses on corners - these houses have less immediate neighbours, and the burglars can assess the occupancy of these houses easier.
- Houses next to alleys - alleys offer burglars escape and limited visibility to neighbours.
- Houses empty for long periods - for example holiday houses
- Houses with cover such as fence, walls, trees or evergreens.
- Houses that are isolated from view - this lessens the chance for the burglar being heard or seen
- Houses with poor lighting
- Houses without security measures
- Houses whose residents are careless about security - for example unlocked or open windows or doors.
- Houses with weak entry points - rusty locks, worn window and door frames, or cheap material on newer houses are all attractive to a burglar.
Research shows that burglars most often strike on weekdays from 10 a.m to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This makes sense as these are the times when most people are at work, therefore the houses are empty.
It is proven that houses without security measures are ten times more likely to be targeted than those with security measures. So what kind of security measures can you use for your home?
- Alarms - alarms are very popular and also very effective. Burglars are very likely to avoid houses with alarms installed.
- Dummy alarm - this is a cheap version if you find the real alarms too expensive. The dummy alarm looks the same as the real alarm, except it doesn't alarm you when a burglar intrudes your home, but it is very unlikely that the burglar would like to test whether your alarm is real or not.
- Dog - a small dog attracts attention with its barking, and a big dog can pose a physical threat to a burglar. In most cases just a presence of a dog in your home will discourage the burglar to enter.
- Motion detector lights - Burglars do not like to 'work' in bright light.
- Electronic timers - now this is a good idea especially if your house is empty for a longer period. You can set the times when you want your lights or electrical equipment to go on or off to make your house look occupied.
- Deadbolt locks
- Surveillance cameras, CCTV - like with alarms you can get a dummy CCTV if you do not want to pay for the real one. It will be very unlikely that the burglar will try its authenticity.
- Make sure all your windows and doors are locked
- If your house is going to be empty for a longer time, have your neighbour to collect newspapers or leaflets from your driveway . You can also ask your neighbour to park his car in your driveway occasionally.
Nothing is 100% burglar proof, but these tips will definitely lessen the chance of your home being burgled.