Lock doors and windows: Keep doors and windows locked when you’re out – even if you’re just popping next door for a few minutes.
Many burglaries are opportunistic, so don’t make it easy for the criminals. And keep keys out of sight, so a would-be burglar can’t reach them through a letterbox or cat-flap or by breaking a window. And don’t hide a spare key under the doormat or a plant pot – that’s exactly where a thief would look.
Join a neighbourhood watch: These schemes can deter burglars from operating in a certain area simply by the fact they exist.
And it’s comforting to know neighbours are keeping an eye open for each other. If there’s no scheme in your area, consider setting one up – contact your local police station, they’ll be happy to advise.
Use lights: You can fit timer switches to turn your lights on and off so it looks like you’re in (there are also apps that allow you to control lighting remotely).
And security lights that are triggered when people approach your property can also deter burglars, as well as providing welcome illumination when you return home after dark.
Fit an alarm: Many home insurance policies will give you a discount on your premium if you fit a burglar alarm. Some devices will transmit pictures from your property to your internet device.
Don’t advertise: Keep valuables away from view if you can, and don’t leave car keys where they can be ‘fished’ through the letterbox.
If you buy a big-ticket item such as a computer or home entertainment system, dispose of the boxes out of sight rather than leave them standing next to your bin.
Don’t broadcast your absence: Don’t tell the world that your home will be empty via social media sites – posting an image of yourself on the beach might look cool, but you’re effectively telling everyone your house is currently unoccupied.
While you’re away, get a friend or neighbour to tidy leaflets and junk away from your letterbox.
Secure your garage: Make sure you lock your garage, if you have one – especially if it also has a door into the house proper. And fit a lock to any sheds or other outbuildings to protect gardening and DIY equipment.
Record what you’ve got: Take photos of your valuables so it’s easier to claim on your insurance. You can also use special marker pens to put your house number and postcode onto items so that they can be identified and traced back to you if recovered.