Nobody leaves their home entirely unsecured these days. Even if you just close and lock the door, you're doing something to make it harder for people to get in. But is that it? Do you do anything else?
The thing is, even if you lock the house, there's a chance that an opportunist might take a look and have a go anyway, and if they can defeat a mere mortice lock and get in, how easy is it to get at all your valuable stuff?
Well, that depends on what you have that's worth stealing, and by examining what thieves commonly like to blag, we can take precautions.
So, here's a list of what they like to take take and why, and how you can make sure you're not a victim.
This is obvious. Whatever a burglar is looking to take, they will eventually want to turn it into cash, so the easiest thing to take from a house is cash itself. If they steal a DVD player or your PlayStation 4, they'll need to sell it first in order to get the money, so why bother if you leave notes and coins hanging around all over the place?
You should always hide any cash you have, especially things like kids' money boxes, wallets and those "not so hidden" objects like teapots in the kitchen.
If you have a safe, pop your cash in there, or even better, get it into the bank as quickly as possible.
My bet is that you have a flat-screen TV, Game Console and Bluray player in your living room. Most people do. But they also have laptops that they leave in full display on the dining room table and smartphones and portable MP3 speakers lying about.
These easy to pilfer objects are a thief's dream.
Laptops should be put away, and so should small technology items. Your media centre and TV are a little harder to hide, but putting them in a cabinet with all the wires clamped neatly will help. Remember that an opportunist thief will want easy things they can just take and run with.
This can be particularly heartbreaking, especially if the jewellery has sentimental value, but it's often just left in a nice easy-to-carry box on a vanity unit in the bedroom. A thief will just run upstairs, head into the master bedroom and take the lot.
Anything valuable should be hidden, maybe in that safe where you're going to put the cash!
Vets and doctors beware: If somebody knows what you do, they're likely to ignore the fact you don't take your work home with you and expect you have drugs in the house anyway. It's the way the bad guys think!
However, if you are on medication, you should always keep it out of reach. Prescription drugs are controlled for a reason, and some of them can be converted into more potent concoctions. What's more, if they get into the wrong hands, you might find that you are liable for their misuse.
A friend of mine had his safe stolen. The irony.
It was heavy, but it wasn't attached to anything, it was just left on the floor of the spare bedroom. He put all his cash, some of his electronics and a lot of jewelry in there. A burglar brooke in, picked it up and threw it through the window to make his escape.
Take heed of the manufacturer's instructions and make sure your safe is secured using bolts to a very hard floor or wall.
Whether something has cash value or emotional value, nobody wants to see their things being taken, so just use common sense and make it so that, even if a burglar does break in, they can't find what they're after easily.
Get a safe, preferably big enough for larger items like laptops, and make sure it's securely fixed to a solid floor or wall, but then make sure you use it.
And finally, consider fitting CCTV and alarms. These can be the ultimate deterrent to even the most experience burglar.