Sharing our plans on social media, leaving out spare keys and forgetting to lock doors and windows are just a few of the simple mistakes we’re making that are inviting burglars into our homes! With a 20% increase in burglaries during the winter months leading up to Christmas, it’s vital to keep your home security a priority and learn how to keep your home safe from burglars1.
We’re all spending more time than ever at home, but break-ins can also occur when people are at home. We’re highlighting some simple steps you can take to improve your home security.
The most obvious and effective way to keep your home safe from burglars is having a home alarm system installed. If a potential intruder sees you’ve an alarm system in your home it’ll likely deter them for trying to break in, and if not, hearing a triggered alarm will definitely send them running!
Don’t forget, if you’ve got a home alarm installed in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines you get a 12.5% discount on Aviva home insurance.
If possible, make sure your garden doesn’t give potential intruders good hiding spots. Keep your hedges and shrubs to three feet or under. Also, ensure you don’t leave any items around your garden that could be used to gain entry into your home such as hammers, ladders and shovels.
Doors and windows
It might seem a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised just how often people forget to lock up! Double check you’ve locked your front and back doors when leaving your home, even if you’re only popping out for a few minutes.
A recent Aviva study found that 26% of those surveyed don’t lock their doors when they’re at home.2 In the year leading up to March 2020, 76% of home burglaries were accessed through the front door. Many break-ins occur when people are still in their homes, so it’s vital you lock your doors even when you’re in.
Just as worrying is the statistic that almost half (45%) of people leave their windows unlocked in unoccupied rooms while at home.3 This is exactly what an opportunistic burglar is on the lookout for so make sure your windows in any unoccupied rooms are kept locked. .
There’s no such thing as a ‘good hiding place’ for spare keys outside your home, it’s that simple! If you want to have a spare key in case you get locked out, leave it with a trusted neighbour.
Many of us are in the habit of posting our whereabouts on social media however it’s not a good idea to tell everyone about the fact your home’s empty! If you really can’t resist, make sure your social media accounts are set to private so only your friends can see what you post.
Out of sight and out of reach
Don’t keep any valuables in view of your windows or letterbox because they’ll only entice burglars. Keep your keys out of these areas too because thieves often go ‘fishing’ through letterboxes for them.
A recent Aviva study found that 26% of those surveyed don’t lock their doors when they’re at home.4 In the year leading up to March 2020, 76% of home burglaries were accessed through the front door. Many break-ins occur when people are still in their homes, so it’s vital you lock your doors even when you’re in.
Just as worrying is the statistic that almost half (45%) of people leave their windows unlocked in unoccupied rooms while at home.5 This is exactly what an opportunistic burglar is on the lookout for so -make sure your windows in any unoccupied rooms are kept locked.
This is especially important as of late with more people than ever working from home. Be sure to put your laptop or desktop somewhere out of sight when you finish up each day.
Having the lights consistently on while you’re not at home actually makes it more obvious nobody’s home (and costs you a fortune!). One option to avoid this is purchasing a smart plug in any electrical store. Plug your lamp in and turn it on and off from your phone. Another option is to set your lamps on a timer.
Other activities burglars could take as a sign of an empty home:
- Blinds down or curtains pulled closed during the day
- A build-up of newspapers and post in your porch or letterbox
- An uncut or unmaintained garden
With Aviva home insurance, if the keys to your home are stolen in a personal assault or break-in, we pay up to €400 to cover the cost of replacing outside door locks, locks on domestic safes or alarm keys.
To read more about the benefits of Aviva home insurance click here. Here are 12 other surprising things our home insurance covers!
Always keep your guard up when it comes to home security – but if you want to know what to do if your home is burgled, follow our guide for advice.
We encourage our customers, where possible, to make use of our online options to access any help you need. If you have a query you can reach us via our contact forms. MyAviva is an online self-service portal available to all our home and car insurance customers.