Sure, I’d like you to spend thousands of pounds on home security and turn your house into a cross between Fort Knox and a battleship, but let’s take stock. Maybe you could be doing some sensible things to keep the bad guys (and gals, obviously) out of your property. Maybe they’re free things, too.
Interested? Then let’s crack on…
Luxury items can be tempting for any burglar. So, it is a good idea to keep all valuables out of sight from the public. This is especially the case if you are planning on taking a holiday.
Most theft is opportunist. A burglar will look though your window, see you have a large set of valuable items in plain view, and then set about getting them. That’s when your home security comes in, but if you just hid everything, the burglar might not even try.
Shrubs and large plants make great hiding places. In fact, the majority of homes that are robbed are those that are not completely visible from the street. A thief will often use these plants to hide behind when entering or attempting to break into a house. Consider removing (or drastically pruning) bushes and other flora that exist in front of any windows or doors.
Your own neighbours are some of your greatest assets. Make sure that they know your work schedule and if you are going on holiday, tell them when you will be leaving and when you expect to return. Give them an emergency contact number in the event that they need to reach you. If a friend or family member is planning on periodically visiting your home, make certain to tell your neighbours beforehand.
Of course, that’s assuming you have great neighbours. If they turn out to be your local version of the Kray Twins, you might want to keep quiet about it. Or move.
Another excellent way to deter a burglar is to show that you are regularly present. Wash all windows, regularly cut the lawn and clean any rubbish. An unkempt property can hint that the owner may be gone for an extended period of time. If a thief sees that the home is in good condition, there is much less of a temptation to break in. The risk is simply too great.
You may be surprised to learn that your mail could present a problem. Interestingly enough, a burglar will often steal the mail of a potential victim long before he or she ever breaks into a property. This is called "casing" a home. From your mail, they can learn valuable information such as your possessions, the age of your car, your (generalised) income and even if you are planning a holiday. Make sure to pick up your mail as soon as it delivered.
So there you go, really simple and common sense methods of keeping burglars away, and they won’t cost you a penny.