We’ve put together a list of some of the latest tricks used by housebreakers and ways you can help to protect your home against them.
Fake trade callers
Burglars often break into your home during the day by pretending to be utility workers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, gas engineers, or even police that you may be tempted to answer the door to and let in without question.
Their preferred targets are the aged, particularly those who live alone, and the vulnerable in general.
How they work is as follows: to they want to appear legitimate and reassure the target in order to gain your trust; some well-organized burglars even use full trade dress and fake ID at the door. They arrive (usually in pairs) and announce their reason for entering (water leaks, gas pipeline checks, leaking roof next door, etc.). They can check out your valuables whilst they divert your attention away from them (by asking for a drink of water, for example) to steal them.
How to safeguard yourself: Only let someone in who has presented you with a professional card and a phone number that you can call to check or, preferably, who has an agreed appointment. If in doubt, it’s better not to open the door or let the person in. Check the legitimacy of any appointment requests with the company or organisation concerned directly or call a friend or relative to help check.
Following you on social media.
Housebreakers create Instagram accounts, as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts, so they can track you on social media and see if you’re on vacation. Or they wait outside your house for you to leave, so they can break in when you’re not there. They’re watching what you’re doing on the internet so remember to keep your private life private and do not share too much online.
Homes in rural areas that aren’t near anyone else and second homes are often broken into several times a few months apart as they represent an easy target with lower risk of getting seen and caught.
How they work is as follows: professional thieves go searching for their victims under false pretences, attempting to get as much information as possible about your family, your precious property, and your deterrents—similar to those who conduct fraud (watchdogs, surveillance cameras, or alarms, etc.). The information is then given to the gang, which plans the break-in based on those details.
How to safeguard yourself: People who come to your home without an appointment or without giving proof of identity or a professional card should be avoided.
Insecure windows and garage doors
For a thief, windows, especially those on the ground floor, are an easy target. It’s so simple to leave a window open by accident in the summer. In this instance, a robber will have little trouble getting inside. Many garage doors and older windows are criminally easy to open. Even basic screwdrivers can be used to lift windows in some cases.
Keep in mind that modern double-glazed windows are far more secure. You can also put metal bars in front of your windows to keep intruders from getting inside. Close the shutters carefully if you’re going to be gone for a time. Electric roller shutters are also an effective deterrent to theft.
For robbers, a garage attached to the house is a godsend. Indeed, a garage door is generally fairly simple to open and close, giving criminals greater freedom to roam around the property as unobtrusively as possible.
How can burglars gain access to a regular up-and-over garage door? They use the wire from a basic coat hanger that they completely unfold, and they use the hook to pull the latch that holds the garage door’s manual opening mechanism.
Poor doors and locks
Burglars love houses with old doors and old locks, which are easy for them to overcome to gain entry in double quick time.
Robbers who discover that the house is vulnerable in this way can enter through the front door, for example, by striking the lower portion of the door with a hammer or boot.
For a seasoned thief, this strategy will take no more than ten minutes. The thug will only need to enter an object into the lock to open the door once the cylinder has been pulled off or broken. A thief can also easily snap the hinges of a door with a crowbar. Another method is to place a strong object between the door and its frame. The door lock points will finally pop out with enough pressure, allowing the thief to safely enter your property.
So, what can you do to keep intruders out of your house?
Burglars aren’t fooled by simply leaving a light on. Here are some recommendations from Ultimate Alarms to help keep your home secure.
Take care of your garden and make it look well-tended to show burglars that you are there and not away.
If you are going away, ask a relative, friend, or neighbour to check your property regularly.
If you can, leave a car in the driveway (but take the keys with you!).
Ensure that all of your external doors and windows are closed and locked when you go out.
Burglars hate dogs and will avoid the risk of encountering one; a recording or gadget that mimics a dog will help to discourage them.
Passports and driver’s licences should be kept in a safe and not left in a drawer. Criminals prize them nowadays, and they could be exploited in identity theft.
Place obvious deterrents all around the perimeter of your home to show intruders that you mean business and are not an easy target. Consider installing a high-quality home security system that incorporates an alarm, security cameras, and perimeter motion detection for maximum deterrence.
If you’re in the market for intruder alarms in Glasgow and anywhere in west central Scotland, call on Ultimate Alarms to get the best system for your house or flat. We fit only high quality Pyronix systems offering state-of-the-art security for your home with a wide range of customisable options to suit your needs.