Keeping your home secure: 6 ways burglars can get into your home

The possibility of being targeted by a burglar can be scary, but you can take extra precautions by being aware of six less obvious ways burglars can target your property.

The number of homes being burgled may have fallen slightly, but you still need to take steps to keep your home as secure as possible.

According to the most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales, there was a 3% dip in the number of burglaries in the year to March 2019.

However, there were still 666,000 reported break-ins over the 12-month period, so it's clear such crimes remain all-too-common.

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How burglars get access to your home

While most burglars enter a property through the front door, here are six less obvious ways that somebody could attempt to get into your home, according to locksmiths Keys 4 U.

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From above

Whilst doors and windows are obvious access points for burglars, lofts and areas above the ceiling are also a means of gaining access.

Flats are particularly at risk as these spaces may not be compartmentalised to each home, making it easier for intruders to break into properties. 

Through a wall

External walls are usually robust enough to keep burglars out, but separating walls in flats and houses may be weaker and be an easy entry point for somebody looking to access your home and belongings.

Through the letterbox

A locked door can still assist a burglar in getting into your property if your letterbox is not secured.

Specialist tools can allow intruders to unlock door hatches from outside the door, while a glimpse through the letterbox can reveal valuables and sets of keys that might be nearby.

What’s more, if they see a big pile of letters, they’ll know no one has been in for a while.

A simple way to prevent this from happening is by fitting a draft excluder or cage to your letterbox.

Burglar picking lock. (Image: Shutterstock)

Using your tools

Garden sheds and garages are often overlooked when it comes to securing doors and windows of the property, but they contain items that could help a potential burglar enter your home.

Not only do you want to protect any valuables in your shed, but things such as heavy tools and ladders can help an intruder force their way into the house, and so they should be locked away whenever you aren’t using them.

Hiding outside

While most break-ins are opportunistic, some burglars prefer to observe and gather information before attempting to get inside.

Unkempt gardens can provide an ideal spot for anybody looking to watch a property without being seen, so it is best to keep tall hedges trimmed and install outside lighting where possible.

What’s more, an unkempt lawn could be a sign the house has been empty for a while, especially in the warmer months.

Compare home insurance quotes at Confused.com

Through your social media

Thanks to social media, a potential burglar doesn’t necessarily need to be nearby to see when you’re out and about.

A recent study by Swinton Insurance found that those who posted online while they were on holiday are more likely to have their home broken into than those who don’t.

The company recommends saving any social media posts about your holiday until you have arrived back at home and changing your privacy settings to ensure only close friends and family members can view your online activity.

People who decide against putting security measures in place to protect their home are five times more likely to be the victims of a burglary than those who do, according to the Home Office.

Measures also need to be taken to put you in the best possible position in the instance that you do get burgled — read our home insurance tips to make sure you and your belongings are covered.

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*This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently.

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