One in four burglaries are crimes of opportunity, where the burglar enters through an unlocked door or window. Keep your home secure.
According to the Home Office, 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.
If you want to be certain your home is as safe as you can make it, here are ten top tips you should follow:
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. Euro cylinder locks should bear the new standard TS007.
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.
Make sure your new security measures (such as window locks) don't block your escape route - and that you can get out of the house as quickly as possible. Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. Make sure you have an escape plan and that everyone in your household knows it.