Home is meant to be a safe haven – a place where you and your family feel most comfortable and secure. But the unfortunate reality is that break-ins and burglaries do still occur across the UK. According to recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics, there were over 350,000 burglaries reported in England and Wales in 2022.
While this represents a decrease of 13% compared to 2021, it’s still a concerningly high figure. As a homeowner or renter, it’s wise to take precautions to protect your property and valuables. This article will provide key tips UK residents can implement to better secure their homes and deter would-be intruders.
Invest in Quality Locks
The first line of defence for any home is quality locks on all entry points. Make sure all external doors have sturdy deadbolt locks installed. These should have a minimum 1-inch throw bolt and be constructed from hardened steel. Look for brands like Yale, Chubb and Banham who offer locks that meet British Standard 3621.
Install anti-bump, anti-pick and anti-drill locks for maximum security keeping your home safe. For sliding doors and windows, install high-security patio door locks. These work by dropping a bar into the floor and frame to prevent the door from being lifted or forced open.
Roller cam locks provide similar security for windows. Upgrade to laminated glass which is more difficult to smash and gain entry through. Secondary locking devices like door chains, bars and window locks provide an additional layer of protection.
- According to UK police statistics, over 70% of burglars gain access through doors. High-security locks make a big difference.
- Deadbolt locks should meet British Standard 3621 and have a minimum 1-inch throw bolt. Top recommended brands include:
Yale – The Yale YDM-C range features anti-bump, anti-pick and anti-snap technology.
Banham – Their MK4 deadlock series has rollerscams for advanced protection.
Chubb – The Union 2207 lock with anti-drill plates offers maximum security.
- For sliding doors, consider patio door locks like:
Era Slam Lock – Hardened steel with anti-lift bolts.
Winkhaus AV2 – Doppel roller cams engage top and bottom of door.
Consider Home Alarm Systems
Installing a monitored home alarm system can greatly improve your home security. Professional monitoring means trained operators will be alerted in the event of a break-in and notify police straight away. Look for “NSI Gold” approved alarm companies who meet high industry standards in the UK.
A comprehensive system should include door and window sensors, motion detectors, glass break detectors and cameras. Keypads and fobs allow you to easily arm and disarm the system. Features like smart phone control give you the ability to monitor your home remotely.
DIY alarm kits are a more affordable option. While not professionally monitored, they still provide effective alerts via sound alarms and notifications to your devices. Leading DIY providers include Ring, SimpliSafe and Swann.
- Police-approved alarm systems cut burglary risk by 50% versus uninsured homes.
Top monitored systems include:
|Verisure||Smart detection, police dispatch, remote access||£40-£70|
|Yale Smart Living||App controls, multiple user codes||£25-£40|
|Honeywell Lyric||DIY install, encrypted sensors||£15-£25|
DIY alarm starter kits:
- Ring Alarm 5 Piece Kit – Motion detector, keypad, contact sensors.
- SimpliSafe Essentials – Keypad, entry sensor, motion sensor.
- Swann Enforcer Kit – Magnetic contacts, motion sensor, siren.
Utilise Smart Home Security Technology
The latest smart home gadgets help enhance security and keep your home safe. Video doorbells like Ring and Nest allow you to see who is at your door from anywhere. You can even speak to visitors to vet them before allowing entry.
Install smart plugs so you can turn lights and appliances on and off remotely to make it look like someone is home. Motion sensor spotlights will automatically light up if someone approaches at night.
Security cameras let you monitor inside and outside your home. Features like night vision, two-way audio and motion alerts provide 24/7 peace of mind.
Examples of smart home security technology available:
Smart video doorbells like:
- Ring Video Doorbell 4 – 1080p video, motion alerts, 2-way talk.
- Nest Doorbell – 24/7 recording, facial recognition.
- Arlo Video Doorbell – HDR video, package detection.
Smart plugs allow remote control of electronics:
- TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug HS100 – Rated for up to 13A.
- Philips Hue Smart Plug – Control via app or voice assistant.
- Ring Stick Up Cam – 1080p video, night vision, motion alerts.
- Blink Outdoor – Wireless, 2 year battery life, app controls.
Secure Potential Entry Points
Take time to assess potential weak spots a burglar could exploit to enter your home. Check that garages, sheds, yards and perimeter gates are locked. Burglars often try forcing garage doors or attacking poor quality locks. Consider installing ground anchor posts near gates to prevent vehicles ramming through.
Even small basement windows, pet doors, air vents and loft hatches can become entry points. Make sure these are secured to prevent intruder access. Keep ladders and tools stored away so they can’t be used to gain access.
Create the Illusion of Occupancy
When away on holiday or extended trips, give the impression your home is occupied to deter break-ins. Put interior lights, radios and TVs on timers so they activate at appropriate times. Suspend any newspaper and mail deliveries till you return. Avoid discussing holiday plans on public social media.
You can even use smart plugs and cameras linked to your phone to control lights and check in. Ask trusted neighbours to park in your drive, put out bins and collect post. This makes it appear as if someone is home.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
Don’t entice potential thieves by leaving expensive items visible through ground floor windows. Keep high value electronics, artwork, jewellery and other prized possessions out of sight. Install security film on windows to make it difficult to see inside.
For extra protection, keep irreplaceable items like jewellery, passports and cash in a hidden safe. Bolt down safes to prevent theft. Avoid openly displaying luxury items when entertaining guests.
Take a Proactive Approach to keeping your home safe
While reported burglaries may be decreasing across the UK, it still pays to be proactive about protecting your property. Don’t become complacent because crime rates have dropped. The tips provided above will help bolster your home’s security and make it a less appealing target for opportunistic thieves.
Take time to assess your home’s vulnerabilities and implement appropriate security upgrades. The latest smart home tech combined with common sense precautions will help keep your house and belongings safe. No system is infallible, but extra security provides valuable peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
With a robust, layered approach to home security, you can help deter the vast majority of break-in attempts. Your home should be a safe haven, not an easy target. Follow the recommendations outlined and keep your property secure both when occupied or away on holiday. If readers have additional tips for securing UK homes, please share them in the comments below. Let’s work together to protect our houses from intruders.