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10% of UK homes are unsecured

Key in a lock16/12/13

By Verena Vogt

Around 10 per cent of Brits haven’t been locking their front door overnight or while away from home in the past year, new research shows.

The study by Sainsbury’s Bank also found that many homeowners are not even carrying out basic measures to improve the overall safety of their house.

Some 23 per cent admitted leaving the house unoccupied while the windows were open, and nine per cent said they had left a key to the front door hidden somewhere outside.

Conservatory doors unlocked

Another nine per cent said they had left conservatory doors unlocked at night or while no one was in the house.

Around one in seven homeowners said they had given at least three sets of keys to neighbours, cleaners, or other people who do not live at their address.

That figure was particularly high among 18 to 24-year-olds, with nearly one in five admitting to handing over seven or more sets of keys to "outsiders".

David Barrett of Sainsbury's home insurance said: "There are a number of measures that homeowners can take to ensure their properties remain safe and secure.

Risk of crime greater in winter

"These become even more important in the darker winter months when the risk of crime and accidents is heightened, which is why we have developed a home security guide.

"We're urging people to take extra care when it comes to home security, and this applies to the basics like locking windows and doors.

"This is particularly important with the festive season just around the corner, and people heading off to stay with friends and family for the Christmas and New Year period."

Sainsbury's Bank's guide added that social media users should remember the security of their home when they post public messages identifying their whereabouts.

This could potentially let burglars know that a property is unoccupied.

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