The value Britons place on their homes and possessions is vastly disproportionate to the measures they take to safeguard them, according to new research.
With a burglary occurring every 45 seconds in the UK, Brits are doing too little to protect their homes, according to research by home insurance firm Quotemehappy.com.
Brits place a value of £25,614 on their possessions on average, the poll found.
But householders admit to a startling array of every day security lapses that lay their homes and property open to theft.
And those living in Leeds (67 per cent), Birmingham (66 per cent) and Manchester (65 per cent) top the charts when it comes to home security failures.
The most common mistakes include:
As well as not taking active measures to secure their homes, a large proportion of Brits are leaving a trail of clues for would-be thieves, effectively advertising that their homes are vacant.
Vacant home clues
- 75 per cent of householders fail to cancel their newspaper, magazine or milk deliveries, allowing a surplus to build up.
- 69 per cent neglect to ask a neighbour to check their property while they’re away.
- 62 per cent leave their bins out for the duration of their absence, suggesting the property is unoccupied.
Henry Topham of Quotemehappy.com said: "They say a person’s home is their castle but, when it comes to protecting our properties from intruders, it would seem they are anything but.
"It’s easy to become complacent but it’s important to factor protecting your home into your everyday routine."
Advice from a reformed burglar
Michael Fraser is a reformed burglar turned businessman and featured on BBC1’s Beat the Burglar.
He said: "If it’s hard to tell whether a home is occupied and if there are no obvious entry points, a thief will look for an easier option. Your dream is the open invitation.
"That’s why it’s vitally important that people make every effort to deter criminals – lock doors and windows, hide valuables and disguise your absence to keep the opportunist thief at bay.
"It sounds simple but these measures can make all the difference."
Beat the burglars
Quotemehappy.com has these top tips for protecting your property:
- When you go out, lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only popping out.
- Keep your valuables out of sight, especially in ground floor rooms. Don’t put temptation in thieves' paths.
- If you have a burglar alarm, set it when you’re out of the house.
- Install security lights, especially if your driveway or porch area is poorly lit.
- Don’t leave a door key under the mat, beneath a plant pot etc. No matter how well it’s hidden, why give intruders an open invitation into your home?
- Where possible, organise for a trusted neighbour, friend or family member to check on your property during your absence – ideally moving any mail build up, and tidying away bins to minimise any clues that the property is empty.
- Cancel milk and other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time.
- Don’t announce your absence across social media channels.