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Burgled Britons on the move

18th August 2014 Print

A quarter (25%) of all Brits have been burgled, and almost half (46%) of them admitted that they’d moved house post burglary, according to research from over 50s insurance specialist RIAS. A skittish seven per cent moved because they no longer felt safe. Over half (54%) of people have been burgled remained in the same house after a burglary, with four in ten (39%) strengthening their home with more security.
It seems the younger generations are feeling the fear, with 10 per cent of 18 – 34 year olds admitting they don’t feel safe in their own homes. People over 50 feel safer at home with only two per cent feeling unsafe compared to seven per cent of those who are younger.
When it comes to feeling safe, Britons in the north are most inclined to rest at ease, with those in Scotland and the North East feeling safest in their homes, while people in the West Midlands are most nervous about being home alone. In flats those higher than second floor are perceived to be safest, with first floor dwellers feeling most vulnerable.
In a bid to protect themselves at home, one in ten of us have bought a dog to deter burglars, rising to 15 per cent of all Londoners, but just seven per cent joined their local neighbourhood watch and 13 per cent have invested in a burglar alarm.  The most popular method for protecting the home is to install sufficient locks on windows, with a quarter of people (25%) taking this precaution.
Peter Corfield, Managing Director at RIAS, said: “It’s important to feel safe in your home and by making some simple changes you can feel more confident in your security. For the majority of people, it’s fitting sufficient locks to windows and doors, but for one in ten it’s owning a dog. Although people often feel safer in particular areas it’s important to remember a burglary can occur anywhere and at any time. This is why it’s vital for people to ensure that their possessions are adequately insured to help lessen the blow and financial impact of a burglary as much as possible.”
RIAS’s top tips for protecting your home:

Home security tips
Being burgled is a terrible experience, and though it’s not possible to make your home 100% burglar proof, there’s a lot you can do to make it as secure as possible. Here are some basic security tips to help you protect your home.
1. Front and Back Doors
Fit the door that you use to enter and leave your home with either a mortise deadlock with a minimum of five levers, or a three-point multi-locking system. These locks add considerable strength to your doors.
Always keep all access points locked when not in use. Ensure that gates, garages and sheds are locked; burglars will often try access points and move away quickly if they don’t have any luck.
 2. Accessible Windows
Window locks will help stop opportunists looking for easy access. Fit all accessible windows with key-operated window locks, which are always locked when nobody is home. ‘Accessible’ means all windows that can be reached without a ladder, and have an opening of at least 9 by 9 inches.
3. Patio Doors
UPVC doors should be fitted with a three-point multi-locking system, while other patio doors should be fitted with top and bottom key-operated bolts.
All other doors should be fitted with barrel bolts, top and bottom. If a door is partially glazed, you should have key-operated locks fitted.
Ensure your alarm is installed in a visible place. If you use a NACOSS, SSAIB or NSI-approved intruder alarm covered by an annual maintenance contract, you may qualify for extra discounts on your  house insurance.
Neighbourhood Watch and other ‘watch' schemes are an excellent way for communities to fight burglary. You’ll find some home insurance providers give you a discount if you are an active member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Security and other good lighting is a great deterrent and helps give the impression that someone is at home even when the house is empty.
Never leave your window or door keys in the lock and keep all keys out of sight. By keeping them on the hall table or in the kitchen, offenders have the chance to not only steal your household belongings, but also make off with your car.
Ask a trusted neighbour, friend or relative to keep a spare set of your keys, and never leave spare keys outside under a flowerpot or in the garage or shed. There is no place impossible for burglars to find – don’t make it easy for them!
Make sure garden tools, ladders or anything else that could be used to break into your home are not left lying around. Garden walls, fencing, trees and shrubs may all help a thief break in without being seen. Chain-link fencing, trellises and prickly shrubs all help to deter burglars.
Ensure that your valuables aren’t hidden in obvious places. Do not store jewellery in the bedroom, spare cash in the bedside table, and don’t leave valuables in a place where they can be easily spotted from an external window. Keep your curtains drawn when it’s dark and at Christmas time, resist the temptation to display your presents in the window under the tree.
Mark your possessions with UV pens so if the worst happens, recovery may be easier.
Don’t advertise your absence on social media. You may be excited about your holiday, but so will burglars.
For more information about home insurance from RIAS, as well as home security tips, visit