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Top 10 Ways to Stop Your Home being burgled - by former burglars.

A recent CO-OP insurance survey interviewed 2,000 people in the UK and found that 28% took no measures to protect their property. From those surveyed half slept with open windows at night, over 80% left the door unlocked whilst they were in and 12% left their garden gates open, things we’re probably all guilty of doing. Half even boasted about their current holidays on social media drawing attention to their empty property.

It's a myth that burglars all wear shellsuits, trainers and carry swag bags. Today's burglars may be unrecognisable – smartly dressed in suits, carrying briefcases or even [high-visibility] waistcoats.

The CO-OP questioned 12 former burglars at the same time and here are the TOP 10 main deterrents they gave that would stop them burgling a property.

1 - CCTV Camera(s)

All the evidence you really need that CCTV is not just for commercial properties and it's time to get a CCTV system on your own home.

2 - The Sound of a Barking Dog

That's right, man's best friend is just that when it comes to deterring burglars but don't worry if you don't have a trusty 4 legged friend, you can fake it. Handy devices such as the VoiceOFF can play a pre-recorded sound of a dog barking whenever someone approaches your property.

3 - Strong Heavy Doors

Consider replacing glass panelled doors that may be a weak point of entry for a burglar into your property with solid wooden or UPVC ones. A DoorKnox doorview camera system (such as DoorKnox) is a handy way of capturing mug shots of visitors when you're out or just letting you choose to ignore them even if you're in.

4 - A TV that is switched on

Eleven of the 12 ex-convicts said they would be put off targeting a smart, connected home. Whilst you might not want to leave your TV set on all day there are a few ways to switch it on when someone approaches your house. A simple PIR detector and IR REmote Controller would do the trick.

5 - Locked UPVC Windows

Never mind leaving them open, don't forget to lock them as well especially if they are hidden away from the roadside and on the ground floor.

6 - Cars parked on the driveway

Not the easiest or cheapest one to achieve if you've not got a spare vehicle but you could set an alarm alert on your alienDVR to email you if someone is on your driveway. It will give you the opportunity to activate a smart home device, a floodlight or a warning sound on the VoiceOFF which might just surprise the visitor – unwanted or not. Read more on how to set this up in our How to fit CCTV tip here >>

7 - Overlooking Properties

Friendly neighbours can also be helpful spotting suspicious behaviour but Noel 'Razor' Smith one of the former burglars interviewed warned “It's a myth that burglars all wear shellsuits, trainers and carry swag bags. Today's burglars may be unrecognisable – smartly dressed in suits, carrying briefcases or even [high-visibility] waistcoats.”

8 - Surrounding Fences

Smith said most burglars want to be in and out in less than 5 minutes so it stands to reason that any physical obstacles such as tall fencing will help protect your property. Why not go one step further and add some “CCTV in Operation” Warning Signs? They cost just a few pounds and are easy to put up.

9 - Gates outside the property

If you have a driveway, gates are a great way to make your property more secure and you can make access in and out easier using a wirefree keyfob or keypad from the new Zendit range here. At the press of a button or tap of a keycode, you can trigger a relay to activate an automatic gate opener.

10 - Security Lighting

The panel pointed out that motion-activated security lights were a key deterrent for home thieves, but just 24% of respondents had installed such devices. With prices so low, there's no real excuse not to have these!

Statistics from CO-OP Insurance.