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How Burglars Pick A House

There are a few key elements burglars look for when targeting a home, which you should take into consideration when securing yours.
Banham Bellbox and Intruder Alarm SystemBanham Bellbox and Intruder Alarm System

Around 2 in 100 households were victims of domestic burglary last year in the UK, and while it is impossible to completely eliminate the chances of it happening to you, there are some measures you can take to deter burglars from targeting your home. When evaluating your home security, try to think like a burglar and identify where there are weak points in your home which can be exploited to allow unwarranted entry.

There are a few key elements burglars look for when targeting a home, which you should take into consideration when securing yours. Find our guide for how burglars pick their target houses below:

1. Most burglars enter through weak or unlocked front doors and windows

Burglars will often try and enter through the front door of your home, as it doesn’t alert neighbours and can be the easiest way in. The less secure your lock is, the easier it will be for burglars to quickly break in. At Banham, we offer maximum security front door locks, which feature 6-pin drill resistant cylinders, making it even more difficult for burglars to break or pick the lock.

Windows are also a common entry point, especially during the summer months. It is common for homeowners to forget they have left a window open to let some air in the house, leaving space for someone to easily break in. Windows that overlook a low roof on a house can also entice burglars, especially if they can climb onto the roof to reach the room. A good quality window lock can secure your home against intruders who are looking to gain entry to your property in this way.

Even if you do have high quality window locks, they are useless if you don’t use them. Shockingly, only four out of ten homeowners lock their doors and windows when they go out, leaving their homes vulnerable to burglars during the day and overnight. It may seem obvious, but remembering to lock your windows and doors properly while your house is empty can make all the difference.

2. Shadowy/dark areas outside your house attract burglars

Burglars that are targeting your home in the evenings or at night will likely look to break in where they can be hidden. Shadowy areas that are concealed by trees, cars, or even other walls can entice burglars during these times, as it hides them from neighbours. Strategically placed motion detector lights can illuminate these areas when someone gets too close in order to scare off any potential burglars.

You should also invest in a quality burglar alarm, which includes a bell box. Most burglars will be able to tell if a bell box is fake, so avoid wasting money on a ‘dummy’ box to deter them, and use a real alarm system. A ‘bells only’ security system can help protect your home by scaring intruders away, but Banham alarms also feature a 24/7 alarm monitoring service to keep your home secure while you’re away. If a burglar does try and break in, not only will you have an effective alarm system, but you'll also have the appropriate response coordinated by security experts.  

When looking for a home to target, burglars will often inspect the house for any weak points before making their move. Some signs that could mean your home is being watched include:

  • Unfamiliar vehicles parked outside/near your home for a long period of time

  • A stranger frequently walking past your home

  • Strange markings on the exterior of your home or bins

Visible CCTV cameras around your home can work to drive burglars away, and also catch any suspicious behaviour. At Banham, we offer a range of high quality, residential CCTV systems.

3. Opportunistic burglars look for anything of value

Leaving items in plain view was one of the most common home security risks discovered in a recent survey by Which?. Valuables that are clearly visible from windows can often entice burglars to target your home. Most will want to grab as much in as little time as possible, so using a safe can help protect high value items, such as watches and jewellery, or anything of sentimental value. Banham offer various safes to suit different security levels for domestic use, which can be used to protect your valuables when you’re out of the home.

Burglars will also look to see if there are any easy ways into your home, as many will not carry large tools with them in order to gain access. Things like stools, ladders, and garden tools that are visible to passers-by, or opportunistic burglars, can be used to climb up and into high windows. Once your home has been targeted by a burglar, they may return to collect more items. If they’ve already broken into your home, they will know the entry points and the layout to your home, making the job even easier and quicker for them.

4. Burglars can tell if you’re on holiday

There are tell-tale signs when a family is away for a holiday, which could make your home an easy target for burglars. These include:

  • Full mailboxes or a build-up of mail on the mat

  • Unkempt or overgrown plants in the gardens

  • No lights on, or lights that are obviously on a timer

Taking the time to ensure that your home and garden are clean and having a system in place for your mail can keep burglars second guessing whether you’re home or on holiday. It may seem daunting to leave your home empty, for any period of time, but knowing what opportunistic burglars are looking for can keep you protected.

Burglary may be unfortunately common, but if you’re aware of how burglars pick a house and take proactive steps to make sure your home and its surrounding area secure and uncluttered, you can reduce the risk of yours ever being chosen by a would-be thief.

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