The habits putting your home security at risk during lockdown
With UK crime dropping during the coronavirus pandemic and most of us staying at home for days at a time, we could be forgiven for relaxing our attitudes towards domestic burglaries.
However, break-ins remain a serious risk and it’s important we keep our home security habits in check. Here, Izzy Schulman at Keys 4 U looks at the ways we could be inviting unwanted intruders and how we can act to stop thieves in their tracks.
Back to basics
It’s a common misconception that burglaries are always meticulously planned. In reality, 47 percent of UK burglaries are ‘spur-of-the-moment’.
To prevent a potential break-in, keep all windows, doors and back gates locked when you move around the home.
With summer approaching, it can be tempting to leave these open for some fresh air. But, as the average burglary occurs within an 8-12 minute window, it doesn’t take long for an opportunistic intruder to strike.
Keeping everything locked makes it difficult for thieves to enter quickly and make a swift getaway, discouraging them from targeting your property.
Keeping valuables hidden
While we’re spending most of our days indoors, it’s easier to believe we aren’t at risk of break-ins and fall into bad home security habits.
Leaving valuables in view of windows, doors and letterboxes can attract unwanted attention from opportunist thieves who can target items and be off in seconds.
Breaking into a property is a gamble for burglars, who’ll weigh up the rewards on offer against the risk of getting caught. Putting expensive items on display makes the decision simpler for them.
Valuables like keys, wallets and expensive gadgets should be kept out of sight of passers-by and out of reach of doors and windows.
This goes for your garden, too. Not only are gardens often a blind spot for homeowners but we tend to leave valuable belongings outside in the summer months.
It’s common for bicycles or expensive garden tools to be stolen, so make sure these are secured in a safe location, like a garage or locked shed.
Stay internet Savvy
Many burglars still prefer to plan their activity and part of the strategy is knowing the victim’s routine.
They’ll often scout out a property for weeks, learning behaviour patterns like exercise and working routines, looking for their window of opportunity to strike.
Under current lockdown rules, falling into a predictable routine can be inevitable and could be picked up by someone scouting your property. So, where possible, try to shake up your daily schedule – for example, by switching between morning and evening exercise walks.
Also, be careful about what you’re posting on social media. When it comes to protecting your home, you don’t want to give anything away to burglars.
Using real-time ‘stories’ to post activity like outdoor exercise breaks on social media lets potential burglars know when you’re away from home.
It’s recommended to save your social media posts until you’re back home and review your privacy settings to make sure only close friends and family have permission to see your posts.
The role of security devices
If you can afford to install a security system, make sure to keep the bell box visible and give it a regular clean – as in some cases, burglars may try their luck if security equipment looks like it’s no longer in use.
An economical alternative to home security systems is the smart doorbell. These video devices record your doorstep, helping you vet visitors and deter potential intruders from attempting to break in through your front door.