Is your house secure while you’re on holiday: Ensure yours isn’t one of the half a million homes broken into in 2016

Brits are failing to protect their homes and end up giving a helping hand to home-breakers while they’re out or travelling abroad, according to new research. Find out how to beat the crooks here…

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Only one in ten of us has external security cameras, less than one in five fit programmable security lighting and just a third have a burglar alarm or security windows.

Thieves have netted an average ‘take’ of £2,267 over the past 12 months in the UK, with more than half a million homes raided. A third of homes have also seen the likes of garages and sheds targeted.

Out of the 1,500 UK adults polled, more than 75 per cent were convinced their homes were secure – yet 55 per cent had suffered a break-in.

Former Bristol Police chief, Colin Port, said: “As winter draws in, the long nights make things easier for burglars looking for a house to break into.

“There are many ways to make your home more secure, both inside and out, but many people simply believe it won’t happen to them.”

The research commissioned by Nest Labs also reveals it’s not just the elderly who are at most risk – the 16-25 age group is twice as likely to fall victim to burglars and nearly three times as likely to have little or no security measures in place.

Expanding on the report, Colin Port said: “Students and young people’s homes are a common target for thieves as they often hold laptops or other valuables while rarely investing in securing what may be rented or temporary property.”

A shocking sixty five per cent of Brits polled reported cops had failed to catch the criminals who broke into their homes – with just 16 per cent celebrating a successful conviction.

How to secure your home against intruders

Don’t get caught out, here’s some top tips from home security experts.

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DON’T…

Leave valuables on display through your windows.
Leave keys under flowerpots, bricks or mats.
Write your home address on luggage labels when you leave for holidays abroad.
Advertise you have pets in the house – it’s a clear sign you don’t have an alarm.
Post on social media that you are not home and how long you will be out.

DO…

Invest in visible home security, such as an alarm or camera, to deter thieves.
Get to know your neighbours – they can be that much needed second pair of eyes.
Take keys out of the lock to prevent them being ‘fished’.
Lock doors even when you’re at home.
Use motion detecting lights.

Socially transmitted ills… don’t tell the bad guys you’re out

Posting photos on social media such as Facebook and Twitter can be great for alienating friends by ramming home what a great time you’re having on the beach or slopes – but it could also lead local crooks to your empty home…

It's not just your friends paying attention to your holiday snaps

It’s not just your friends paying attention to your holiday snaps

Holiday alert: While your stay-at-home pals will be less than impressed by your digital boasting, your local house-breaker will be relishing your updates, following a few simple steps to find your location and making a beeline for your unattended front door. The bad news doesn’t stop there! The Financial Ombudsman has warned sharing holiday photos could give your insurer a legitimate reason to refuse compensation in the event of burglary while you’re away. Most home insurance policies have T&Cs that state ‘reasonable care’ must be taken to secure your possessions. Broadcasting your absence to the world is unlikely to count as such.

Beat the burglars: Here are our tips to make sure Facebook doesn’t help crooks book a visit when you’re not at home…
1 – Make sure your privacy settings keep updates hidden to all but friends.
2 – Have a cull of ‘friends’ and leave only those who you really ‘know’ and don’t just ‘know of’.
3 – Disable location settings to prevent your position being posted without your knowledge
4 – Once on holiday, Google yourself and see just how much information is available for anyone to see – and consider if it could lead a crook straight to your door.

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