Looking through the eyes of a burglar
Posted Wednesday 12th March, 2014
Opportunist thieves spend time assessing home before they make a move, to decide if it's worth the risk.
We are here to help you learn how to identify weak spots on your property, to keep the burglars at bay.
1. Is anyone home?
An empty house is less risk, Signs of life will put thieves off so while you're out fool thieves with timer switches and FakeTVs. If you're going on holiday, place lights on timers, ask neighbours to check the house daily and close curtains, move mail etc.
2. Is there any CCTV or alarms fitted?
Anything which will increase the risk factor will make a burglar think twice. If CCTV is fitted, will it alert someone of a break in. Will they be able to identify them? If alarms are fitted, do they look old and easy to disable?
3. Look through the windows.
Can you spot anything worth taking? Laptops, computers, TVs, tablet devices, handbags? A burglar will only want to enter a house which is worth the risk. If they see something on display, a burglar will feel almost entitled to go in and steal it. Are the windows old and easy to break in, or are they new with secure locks?
4. Check the door.
Does it look easy to gain entry? Are there any weaknesses on the hinge, lock side or weaker panels which could be forced open. Is there a glass panel which could be smashed to gain access. Are there any keys in reach through the letter box or window.
5. Is there anywhere to hide?
If a burglar can be seen from the road then they may not feel safe breaking in. Bushes, fences or walls help keep them concealed while they're breaking in. Or they can remain hidden while they're assessing the home. Trim back hedges, bushes and trees.
6. Are there any other entry points?
Burglars will look to see if they can gain entry from other areas, such pulling a bin over to gain access to an upper floor window. Or using smaller windows to reach through and open larger windows. Even some cat flaps are large enough for a small adult or teenager.Cat flats can also allow burglars to reach through and grab keys or door handles.
7. Is there anything which will cause risk?
Burglars don't like trouble and like to remain inconspicuous. Use security lighting, CCTV, Alarms, dogs or gravel to use as obstacles if a burglar attempted to target your home. The GuardCam CCTV Light is a 3-in-1 deterrent and once activated will flood the area with light, record footage and will release an audio warning such as a dog bark. This should hopefully result in a prompt, empty handed exit.
8. Hidden 'in case of emergency' keys
Check behind plant pots, under the mat, behind rocks or bricks nearby. If you leave a key outside your home you are not only at risk from thieves gaining entry but you are also at risk of not being insured. If you have to leave a key, use a key safe.
9. Distraction Burglary
Thieves often target vulnerable or elderly people and pretend to be an official visitor from the police, a neighbourhood watch, a utility company or charity to try to gain access to the home. Once they're in they scope out the property, ask questions to see when the house is empty and even use an accomplice to distract you while they steal valuables such as purses, handbags, phones or jewellery.
10. Shed and Garage Security
Criminals know that sheds, garages and outhouses tend to be less secure, unlikely to have alarms fitted and are less risky to enter. They also know that items of value tend to be stored in them. Use alarmed padlocks, shed alarms, hasp and staples with concealed screws and security signs to deter thieves.
Take a look at this video by Gwent Police which shows exactly how criminals operate, through the eyes of a burglar.