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Is your home at risk of burglary?

Written by: Christina Hoghton
We look at the types of properties targeted and what you can do to protect your home

Three-bedroom properties account for nearly half of UK burglaries, according to new analysis by Churchill Home Insurance, putting owners of these popular homes at the greatest risk.

They account for almost half (46%) of all break-ins in the UK.

End-terrace properties are another property type that appeals to burglars, especially when compared to mid-terrace homes. The analysis of claims data reveals end-terraced houses account for more than a quarter (28%) of burglaries on streets with terraced properties, despite being significantly outnumbered by mid-terraced properties.

Unsurprisingly, ground-floor burglaries account for 65% of all flat burglaries.

What burglars want

Research amongst burglars reveals that surveillance opportunities, side and rear access are all easier with end of terrace properties. Burglars questioned said “I’d always pick an end house, wouldn’t pick one in the middle. If it was a terrace it’d always be an end one” and “I would look for corner houses, ones with back alleys.”

Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance, said: “It is clear the risk of burglary is directly related to the ease of access and location of a property. Homeowners should be vigilant to this risk and take appropriate steps to protect their homes, such as installing security lights, external CCTV, burglar alarms and anti-climb paint.”

In total, there were 171,527 recorded incidents of domestic burglary in the UK between April 2016 and March 2017 – a 2,700 (2%) increase on the previous year – and an average 470 burglaries every day.

Scott continued: “We want to encourage people to be aware of their home’s vulnerabilities and install the relevant security measures to make life as hard as possible for intruders. Homeowners should also always ensure their home and contents are adequately insured to avoid further trauma should the worst happen.”

Top six tips to protect your home

Churchill’s top tips for protecting your property are:

1. The best burglary deterrent is for the home to be occupied, so if you are away ask neighbours to pop around, leave a light on or invest in timed lights. Don’t make it obvious that no one is home

2. Think like a burglar and see where the best points of entry to your home are. Make sure all windows and doors are locked and if you have a burglar alarm, use it and keep it clean so it looks like it is used and serviced regularly.

3. Ensure all locks to the property have a British Standard Kitemark (BSI) as a benchmark of quality
Don’t leave ladders or tools accessible outside, as a burglar could use them to help gain access to the property.

4. Try not to leave packaging for new expensive goods outside your home. It is better to take it to a public recycling bin, as it can attract burglars. Do not leave expensive, portable items like tablets or laptops in clear view.

5. If you keep power tools, golf clubs or garden equipment in an outbuilding or shed, make sure the shed is locked and/or has security features such as an alarm or security light.

6. Ensure any security features which allow you to track your phone or tablet are turned on as this will help police locate your device should it be stolen. If you are burgled, also call your contract provider immediately and have the line and phone blocked.

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