A friend of mine in our village told me ‘be careful, there’s been a couple of burglaries in the area–and we think we know who they are.‘ I asked how she knew. It was an amusing answer.
Her husband does a lot of hunting and he also does his own butchering. He had a deer hanging in his back yard and he was using a big knife to skin it. He’s a big guy. I can imagine the scene: big guy in an apron, big, bloody knife in hand, holding onto a carcass of a big deer, skinning it–a bit threatening for a second if you happened upon it. And along came a couple of lads at twilight, jumping over the fence as quiet as anything, but suddenly they caught sight of the big man with a big bloody knife and almost before landing they had jumped back over again and boy did he laugh as he heard them running into bins and things and scrambling away.
I don’t have a big guy with a big knife in my back garden and so I need to pay closer attention to other methods of reducing the risk of burglary. Sainsbury’s have offered me this useful post, and hopefully these tips will help you too!
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For any home owner, burglary can be a worry. As a first-time buyer, I’ve been amazed how much it can play on your mind, especially when you are away from home for a few days.
Burglary rates have fallen over the last 20 years, though police recorded an increase of around 14 per cent in 2010/11. Having home insurance can obviously go some way to putting your mind at rest – provided your home is adequately secured. Make sure you know what security measures you are expected to take by your home insurance policy.
And to help guard against being a victim of crime, you can take a range of precautions to help lower the likelihood of burglary.
Think like a burglar…
According to the Metropolitan Police, if you can think like a burglar, then you will give yourself a better chance of avoiding burglary. Then first thing to understand is that most burglars are opportunists, always on the lookout for a simple target. If you can send out the right signals when you are not around, then hopefully your home won’t attract attention.
Look at your home through the eyes of a burglar. Make sure that you are not leaving side gates or any accessible windows open. It also makes sense not to help out any would-be burglar by leaving garden equipment or ladders lying around, as these could be used to gain access.
Think about how the interior of your house looks from the outside. Don’t leave keys in plain view near windows, or accessible through a letterbox. Avoid leaving valuable objects on display. It may also make sense to use timers on light switches if you are often out of the house when it is dark.
Staying out for the summer
If you are going to be away for some time, then you may need to think ahead a little more. Cancel any milk or paper deliveries to ensure that there is no build-up at your front door – a simple sign that no-one is around.
Arrange for a friend or neighbour to regularly remove post or flyers in case they are left sticking out of the letterbox. Alternatively, use the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service, which will hold your mail for two months.
If you have a trusted friend who has the time, putting in an appearance to open and close curtains on a daily basis will make the house look occupied. In addition, having someone park in your driveway may help.
Mum’s the word
If you are about to go away on holiday, then it obviously makes sense to be careful about how you broadcast this. You might be careful about mentioning it at your local, but don’t forget that thieves are becoming increasingly clever in accessing our information. Think carefully about the information you make publicly available through blogging sites and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Regardless of whether or not you are going away, it could make sense to ensure you have these bases covered:
- Keep your garden trimmed. Unruly foliage can give the appearance of neglect – and therefore the absence of owners – while also giving cover to a burglar.
- Photograph valuable items and keep receipts for proof of ownership.
- Security mark property with your postcode.
- Install a burglar alarm.
This is a sponsored post by guest blogger William David on behalf of Sainsbury’s Bank
Any other tips readers? All tips appreciated!!