1. Lock up. Many burglaries are opportunistic. So keep doors and windows locked when you’re asleep or out – even if you’re just popping next door for a few minutes.
2. Keep your keys safe. Store keys out of sight – and don’t hide a spare key outside, particularly somewhere obvious such as under the doormat or in a plant pot by the back door.
3. Watch out for prying eyes. Keep valuables away from windows and out of sight and discreetly dispose of boxes containing new items such as TVs and computers.
4. Install an alarm. Today’s burglar alarms range from motion-triggered systems to ones that transmit a CCTV image of the intruder to a computer or mobile phone. Choose one that is insurer-approved so you can get a discount on your home insurance.
5. Going away? Be discreet. Don’t advertise the fact that your home will be empty on social media sites. And ask a friend or neighbour to park on the driveway to deter potential thieves.
6. Light up. Timer switches that turn your lights on and off give the impression you’re home are highly effective.
7. Secure your shed. Outbuildings such as sheds and garages are often home to lots of valuable gardening and DIY equipment – some of which can be used by burglars to break into your home. So make sure they are locked at all times.
8. Illuminate your home. Security lights that come on as anyone approaches your property are a deterrent for anyone who is up to no good. They can also help you feel safer when you get home after dark.
9. Log it. Taking photos of your valuables makes it easier to claim on your insurance, while security marking them with your postcode and house number can both make thieves think twice and help the police to recover them if they are stolen.
10. Get covered. Make sure your insurance is up to date and offers enough protection to cover all your belongings.