This advice has been prepared by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Home Office to help customers make sure that they do all they can to prevent their homes from being burgled, protect their property and get the best deal possible from the insurance market.
Did you know?
36% of all burglaries are crimes of opportunity, where burglars let themselves in through unlocked doors or windows.
You are ten times more likely to be burgled if you don’t have basic security - even something as simple as putting strong locks on your doors and windows will keep your house much safer.
Burglary has fallen by nearly 60% since 1995, but criminals are opportunists who will take advantage of any chance to steal from you, so you should remain alert.
Make sure you’re covered!
Saving money by not taking out home insurance is a false economy. It’s a sad fact that almost half of all burglary victims are uninsured. Without insurance you will have to find the money to replace what is stolen or damaged. Insurance will cover possessions stolen from your home and your insurer will cover the cost of replacements at a time when you most need help.
Insurers can also provide advice on home security. They recommend that locks and alarms are fitted in customers’ homes and that these should meet certain standards. In high-risk areas they will insist that customers fit good quality door and window locks and burglar alarms.
Insurers often use information on how secure a property is when they are deciding whether to offer cover, on what terms and conditions, and what premium to charge. Improving the security on your home can help make sure you get the best possible deal from the insurance market when you buy or renew your cover.
Good security measures complement your insurance cover by giving you peace of mind, knowing your home is well protected. However, some things are irreplaceable. Your engagement or wedding ring, special jewellery or family photographs for example have sentimental value which cannot be measured. It is therefore important to do all you can to prevent being burgled in the first place.
The Home Office has prepared some common sense top tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of burglary.
These are: -
Fit strong locks to external doors and windows, and make sure they are locked at all times
Always remove all keys from inside locks, and keep them out of sight and in a safe place
Fit sturdy deadlocks (British Standard BS3621) to all doors
Make sure your doors and frames are strong and in good condition - wood doors should be at least 44mm thick
Mark your property - having it marked helps police verify it's been stolen
Fit a door chain or bar and door viewer (spy-hole), and use them.
Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat, in a flowerpot or behind a loose brick - thieves know to look there first
When you are out in the evening, leave your lights on and shut the curtains.
Install outside security lighting; if other people can see your property a burglar may think twice.
Keep your tools and ladders securely locked up – a burglar could use them to get into your house.
The Home Office also publishes A guide to Home Security which provides useful advice on how to make your home more secure.
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