What reformed burglars have taught us about home security

30 May 2014

Burglars are becoming increasingly professional in what they do, especially as home security technology is improving. For this reason it’s important to understand how burglars think and this is where the opinions of reformed burglars comes in.

We interviewed over 100 reformed burglars to find out how their minds work – what exactly do they look for when attempting to burgle a property? Given that burglars can observe a target property for over 24 hours, it’s important to carry out all home security measures that will act as deterrents and drive criminals away.

So what are these particular measures?

Loud noises can scare off burglars so gravel driveways and loud pets are perfect. The crunching noise when you walk across the gravel can travel far in the quiet night and the bark of a dog can wake a whole household up. 60% of reformed burglars saw dogs as a deterrent, especially as nobody wants to be bitten by an angry dog!

As crime is on the increase, companies are manufacturing their products to make them more sophisticated and secure. The reformed burglars we spoke to said that new, secure-looking UPVC windows, doors and locks are a definite deterrent as they aren’t as easy to break into. Sensor lights and CCTV cameras can also help as saying ‘cheese’ to a camera isn’t ideal when burgling a property.

We found that top of the list of things that deter burglars, as said by 93%, are ADT monitored alarms. Old fashioned looking alarms didn’t seem too much of a problem as once disabled that was it, however with monitored alarms it’s different. The little flashing light below an alarm box can be enough for a burglar to turn around and walk away.

They know that as soon as the alarm sounds a message is sent to an alarm monitoring centre which will quickly notify the homeowner or their keyholders and police.

In addition to getting a monitored alarm you should try to make it look like someone is always in your property, as 73% of reformed burglars told us they wouldn’t target a property if they believed people were home. Here are some simple ways to help to keep burglars away:

1. Keep your front and back doors locked at all times.

2. Keep keys and valuables out of sight and reach from cat flaps, letter boxes, downstairs doors and windows.

3. If you’re out in the evening then leave lights on around the house and draw the curtains.

4. If it’s dark before you get home then use timer switches to turn on the lights.

5. Light up your front door with dusk to dawn lighting that’s visible from the street.

6. Keep expensive goods packaging (such as iPad or a laptop) out of sight as burglars will be able to see certain products they might be looking for.

7. When recycling, fold up any packaging that offers a clue to what your home contains.

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If you have any questions about our products and services, you can call us on the number shown above. Our advisors are available from

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