A proactive approach to security can deter burglars from targeting your home. Here are some top tips.

While Contents insurance can cover the cost of stolen belongings, it can’t replace items of sentimental value or take away the emotional trauma of a burglary. Being proactive is your best form of defence, so here are some ways to minimise your chances of falling victim to thieves.

1. Invest in a burglar alarm

This may sound obvious, but burglar alarms are effective. If you don’t already own one, consider getting one installed. But of course it won’t be much use if you forget to activate it, so be sure you do before you go to bed or leave the house.

2. Lock windows and doors

Again, this is hardly rocket science, but you’d be surprised how easy some people make it for burglars to break into their home. Remember to lock every access point into your house, even if you’re only stepping out for a short time.

3. Be careful with your keys

The easiest way for burglars to enter your home is by getting hold of a key. Avoid leaving spares in obvious or easy-to-reach places, like under your doormat. And never label house keys with your name or address.

4. Motion sensor lighting

These systems automatically switch on if they sense movement: startling thieves and alerting you, your neighbours and passers-by to a potential crime.

5. Keep valuables out of sight

Jewellery, cash and hi-tech gadgets are a tempting sight for thieves, so try to keep expensive-looking items stashed away from prying eyes. Draw your curtains or lower your blinds at night and consider investing in a home safe to store your most valuable belongings.

6. Ask neighbours to lend a hand

You’re a prime target for thieves when you’re on holiday. Mail piling up on the mat, the lights switched off and an empty driveway are all tell-tale signs you’re away. Enlist the help of your neighbours by asking if they’ll collect your post while you’re gone or even park their car in your driveway to give the impression you’re home.

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