38 ways to stop robbers

Burglars like to work in silence and usually enter through unlocked doors and windows, or they take advantage of weak locks.

How to beat them

Guard your keys:

  • don’t have personal details on your keys (such as your name, phone number or address)
  • don’t leave house keys with your car keys when your car is being serviced

Before you go out:

  • all doors locked
  • garage locked
  • all windows shut securely
  • tools and ladders locked in shed
  • spare keys with neighbour (not “hidden”)

General safety:

  • strengthen windows with safety glass or shatter-resistant film
  • change locks if you lose your key
  • house number obvious
  • trees and shrubs trimmed
  • locks of hardened-steel (not aluminium)
  • deadlocks (not simple mortise locks)
  • anonymous letterbox (no name on it)
  • lock the front door if you’re in the back garden
  • lock your house if you are having a nap or doing something that needs a lot of concentration, such as studying or sewing
  • lock away tools and ladders, because burglars could use them to break in
  • lock garden sheds and your garage, if you can

It’s good to:

  • have a loud whistle or personal alarm
  • have an alarm system
  • get sensor lights (they go on automatically when somebody moves nearby)
  • remember that burglars hate barking dogs
  • have a wide-angle door viewer in front and back doors
  • plant prickly bushes or shrubs under windows

Before you go away:

  • never leave notes on a door saying that you are out
  • tell your neighbour when and where
  • cancel mail
  • give your neighbour a phone number
  • cancel groceries and other deliveries
  • get an app to control your lights
  • curtains open, blinds up
  • turn telephone sound down
  • lock all doors, close all windows

When you go away, make sure your home looks “lived in”. Ask your neighbour to:

  • clear your letterbox
  • close your curtains at night
  • use your clothesline occasionally
  • watch your home
  • use your drive occasionally