Home security - what can you do if someone breaks into your home?
Updated: Aug 27, 2018
Burglary is one of the most common types of crime.
When someone breaks into your home they normally want to steal, be violent or commit unlawful damage. It isn’t always something that happens just once, sadly, some people experience a burglary several times.
What should you do if your home is burgled?
• Phone the police
• Don’t touch anything!
• Take note of any stolen or damaged property
• Inform your bank
• Get a crime reference number
• Contact your home insurance company
• Secure your home
The impact of a burglary can be huge. It’s not just the financial aspect - it’s the big impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing and sense of safety.
The emotions can vary from feeling guilty for not having done more to prevent it, to losing faith in society - to feelings of anger, mistrust, isolation and fear.
Those feelings can lead to other illnesses such as depression, anxiety, insomnia or post-traumatic stress.If you have experienced a burglary and are struggling to come to terms with it, there is support available.
Read more here: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/crime-info/types-crime/burglary
What should you do if you are at home during a break in?
In the unfortunate event that you may be confronted by a burglar, would you know what to do and what your legal rights are?
How can you defend yourself and your home?
If possible, the first thing to do is to call the police.
If you are in your home and fear for yourself or others, the law doesn’t require you to wait to be attacked before using defensive force.
Anyone can use reasonable force to protect themselves or others, or carry out and arrest or prevent a crime.
The law will protect If you do something that you believe necessary, that is the best evidence of you acting lawfully and in self defence - even if you use something to hand as a weapon.
The Crown Prosecution Services (CPS ) says:
“If you have acted in reasonable self-defence, as described above, and the intruder dies, you will still have acted lawfully.”
The law does not protect you if the action is over the top or calculated revenge, for example, if you knock an intruder unconscious then kick and punch them repeatedly.
Taking some small measures can make a big difference in keeping your home safe from burglary.
Here are a few tips:
• Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you’re just out in the garden
• Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox
• Install a visual burglar alarm
• Install good outside lighting
• Get a neighbour to keep an eye on your property
• Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied
• Make sure the fences around your garden are in good condition
• Secure bikes in outbuildings or sheds, locking them to an immoveable object
• Keep ladders and tools stored away, don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your property
• Ensure side gates are locked to prevent access to the rear of the property
• Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges
• Remove valuables from view of ground floor windows
• Store any high value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe
In most burglaries, the criminals break into a property through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in.
So make sure your doors are strong and secure. Glass sections on doors are particularly vulnerable. If you have one on your door you could replace it with laminated glass, which is stronger.
We would recommend that you have window locks with keys to all downstairs windows and those upstairs that are easy to reach.
Who’s knocking at your door?
If you’re not sure who is at your door and you feel uneasy, don’t open it. Check the identity of the caller by calling the company they are claiming to be from i.e. gas, electricity, water and police.
Do not use any telephone numbers provided by the caller - they may be fake.
Do you need to review your home or business security? Call an expert locksmith and take advice as to how you can make your home more secure.