Over the last 12 months many of us would have spent a lot more time at home than we’re perhaps used to. For some, the enforced ’stay at home’ message has brought about better balance between work and home life whilst for others, just a prolonged break from the monotonous daily commute has been a welcome perk.

As we enter the age of the quickly established cliche that is – ‘the new normal’, some may be realising that the morning commute now merely consists of a short trip down the hallway. From the bedroom to the study via the kitchen for a quick ‘coffee-to-go’, all without needing to change out of those comfy slippers. Conversely, as lockdown restrictions begin to relax many will be welcoming back the opportunity to venture out of the house again. Whether it’s back to the office full time, much deserved retail therapy trips or lunch with friends, our homes will likely find themselves vacated for prolonged periods for the first time in over a year. 

However receptive we may be to getting back out there again, with change comes opportunity, and not the kind we’re quick to welcome. Statistics released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that reports of burglaries in England and Wales plunged by as much as 47% during the initial 2020 lockdowns when compared to the same period 12 months earlier. With more people staying at home than ever before, criminals were unable to target vacant properties in the same way they once did. Naturally these figures have spiked upon the relaxing of lockdown measures and once again decreased significantly during the further enforced lockdowns. 

As the current lockdown comes to an end and residents venture out the house once more, burglars will undoubtedly ramp up their criminal efforts in a bid to make up for lost time… and earnings. 

Through our Residential Security Patrols, we provide clients with round-the-clock, peace of mind that our presence continues to deter criminals away from our patrol zones and into unprotected, neighbouring areas. This however doesn’t guarantee that the most savvy and experienced of burglars won’t attempt to gain access to your property if they so truly desire. 

Burglars are known to take on many forms of disguise including that of charity workers, tradespeople and even security personnel (LSS staff will always clearly display their SIA license and if you’re ever in doubt always call our head office team to verify the identity of an officer). The brazen nature of these crafty criminals means that they have been known to confidently walk onto property grounds with a confidence that potential witnesses won’t see through their disguise. If that’s too much effort for them then they will ultimately rely on stealth to infiltrate your home. 

Whilst impossible to eradicate the threat completely, reducing a burglars chances of successfully breaking into your home is the best way to beat them. LSS have compiled a list of things you can do which can greatly reduce the chance of falling victim to burglary. 

Lock all windows and doors (then unlock them and lock them again!)
It’s the most obvious suggestion on our list but it’s alarming how many people forget the most simple of tasks when leaving the house. Locking the front door when leaving home is easy to remember but so often we hear of victims who forgot to check back doors and windows. If you don’t check, you can be sure an intruder will check them for you. Even a first floor window is a perfect entry point for a burglar. We suggest locking each door and window and then unlocking it again to ensure the mechanism is working correctly. Once satisfied, lock it once more. By carrying out this procedure more than once you are also more likely to remember locking it. We’ve all been there – that nagging doubt of ‘Did I lock the backdoor?’.

Use the deadlock
Front doors will usually lock themselves behind but if available to you, use the deadlock on your front door. As well as reducing home insurance premiums a proper deadlock can make breaking in a lot more difficult. 

Let them think you’re home
An empty house is an easy house for a burglar. As we’ve mentioned, with the country staying at home for the last year, burglaries have decreased dramatically but as homes start to empty and people get back to work burglars will be looking for opportunities to strike. When leaving the house leave a radio or television on that can be seen or heard from outside. This could provide just enough doubt in a burglars mind that someone might be home, making their job a little less desirable. Similarly use lights to give off the impression that someone could be home. Timers are a cheap and effective way to turn lights on and off at set times – try alternating the timers between rooms to give the impression that someone is moving from one room to another at different times of the day. 

Install Motion Sensor Lights
Cheap and easy to install, light can be a burglars worst enemy particular at night or during the winter months. An outdoor light, triggered by sensors can illuminate a large area and even provide your neighbours visibility of a potential wrongdoing. If you haven’t got any outdoor motion-sensor lighting, consider having one or two installed around your property. 

Don’t leave valuables on show
Where possible, try not to leave valuable items on show. If a burglar was to peak through a window and see a treasure trove of goodies such as iPads, Laptops and Jewellery etc, the temptation will be far too great. Before leaving the house, place valuables in cupboards or drawers.

Don’t leave keys on show
It’s a product of convenience but leaving keys near the front door is something many people are often guilty of. Burglars and car thieves actively look for this – a key-rack or even a little box on a table by the front door. The closer your keys are to the entry point of your home the easier they are to steal without any great deal of forceable entry. Try and keep keys, especially car keys, out of site, away from access points. If you own a keyless vehicle, consider purchasing a Faraday box also which prevents thieves from remotely unlocking and driving off with your vehicle (Find out more here).

Show off a visible alarm system

Even if it’s not plugged in or you let your subscription lapse, a physical alarm box on the front of your house can act as a big deterrent to unwanted guests. An alarm panel on view by the front or back door of the house can also prove beneficial in the event the burglar missed the outside alarm box. 

Man’s best friend

Proudly carrying the label of ‘Man’s Best Friend’ for centuries, a pet dog can provide the perfect deterrent to unwanted visitors. Many dog owners will actively train their furry canine companions not to bark under any circumstance but if you can learn to love your dogs audible outbursts they will forever reward you with an early detection system that’s hard to put a price on.

Install Smart Security

As technology continues to develop at rapid pace, home security is now more accessible and more affordable than ever before. From camera door bells to full CCTV systems we can now keep an eye on our homes 24 hours a day all from our mobile phones. Whilst CCTV and cameras won’t necessarily deter criminals that are willing to wear a hood they could alert you in just enough time to take action. If you’d like to know more about smart security at home and the systems available to you feel free to contact us for a free consultation and site survey. LSS have also recently introduced a revolutionary new technology which links your home’s smart security system to your nearest Residential Patrol Unit, providing real time updates to our officers allowing them to rapidly respond within seconds. Find out more about ProResponse+ here. 

Display Prominent Signage

All LSS clients are issued with an exclusive security plaque notifying unwanted visitors that your household is protected by LSS Residential Security Patrols. We recommend fixing these plaques prominently outside main access points to your property. We have no doubt that these signs work effectively at warding off potential criminals. A burglar is far more likely to target a property without such warning signs. If you would like to order additional plaques, you may do so via our online shop.

Add a few Window Stickers

Discrete but very noticeable to anyone that gets too close – LSS window stickers are small in size but mighty in impact. A burglar will check all visible access points in the hope that a window or door may have been left unlocked. A last second warning letting them know that LSS are in the area could be enough to deter them from entering. As with our plaques, you can order window stickers online from our shop.

If you have any concerns about home security contact LSS today on 0330 1330 226 or email enquiries@lsslondon.co.uk where an LSS agent will be happy to discuss your concerns, security requirements or book a complimentary home security survey and consultation.