The world is changing fast, often too fast for us to keep up and so, unfortunately, is crime. One old-fashioned criminal activity that’s changed a lot is burglary. We still see burglars as masked men, sneaking through the night bearing swag-bags, but this image needs to be updated, especially if you want to outwit them and keep your home safe.
Here are six surprising tips to help you to stay secure in your home.
Don’t assume that a no cold callers sign will deter everyone
If you put up warning signs such as this, then yes you’ll be able to deter people with whom you have no prior relationship or business with – sellers and charity collectors, for example. However, callers who can say they have legitimate business with you – meter readers and similar – can still knock at the door. There are lots of cases of distraction burglaries involving “meter readers” in the UK, so when someone does knock and ask to see your readings, make sure you ask to see their ID first.
Dust off your deadlock
Burglars look for evidence of lax security when they scope out houses and one of the most obvious signs is an unused deadlock. They can knock at the door and quickly look at the lock to see if it’s dusty, rusty or home to spiders. Give your deadlock a clean, oil it and evict any invertebrate lodgers once or twice a year.
Keep calendars and keys out of sight
If you have a calendar with all your plans written down on it, make sure it’s not visible from outside through windows or doors. Burglars can pretty much synch their schedules with yours if they can see your holiday plans. Similarly, make sure you don’t keep keys anywhere near the front door because dedicated burglars can perform tricks worthy of Houdini with sticks and wires. Keep them out of sight or behind furniture.
Don’t assume burglars carry a toolkit
Intruders don’t want to be caught with a toolkit as it makes it harder for their defence lawyers! Instead, they’ll use something that they pick up nearby, maybe even in your garden or your unlocked shed. Make sure you don’t leave tools lying around and lock your shed up!
Burglars will ransack children’s bedrooms
A sickening thought is the idea of your children’s bedrooms being turned upside-down by intruders and many of us believe there’s a code that prevents burglars from doing this. While some intruders may have some qualms about it, many don’t. In fact, they may go for the kids’ rooms first because people hide valuables in them in the belief that they’ll be left untouched. If you have valuables, keep them in a safe, not in a toy box.
Keep your paperwork safe
It’s not just bars of gold and diamond necklaces that burglars go for now, it’s identities. If you leave paperwork and passwords, or laptops with your banking details stored in them lying around, enterprising thieves will snatch them up so they can sell your data on. If you are burgled, make sure you tell your bank and change all your passwords.
disclosure: this is a collaborative post