In collaboration with Legal and General.
It’s that time of year again, when burglaries start to rise, as thieves know most of us are likely to have some Christmas presents lurking around, but how vulnerable do we make ourselves?
When I was about 14, I came home from school, to find our front door open, and a pair of socks discarded on the steps in front of the door. My neighbour was standing at our door, making sure I didn’t go in, just in case someone was still inside. It was my first experience of a direct theft, that wasn’t just some other child nicking my stuff at school.
To make matters worse, the only thing we could find that had actually been taken, was my wages from my Sunday job in a shop, that I’d thrown on top of the piano before going to school. Easy to find, and easy to pinch.
What’s worse, is that years later, I found out that a neighbour had seen the burglar enter our garden and then leave, but hadn’t come forward. She KNEW who’d burgled us, but kept schtum. The robber is long dead now, but the feeling of anger at someone taking what I’d worked so hard for, has never left me.
What also angers me, is that we’d left ourselves wide open to being an easy target for a burglar. In spite of living one floor up, in a flat that shared a front door with another flat, we had no lock on the shared outside lobby door. That was rectified pretty quickly.
Our lack of decent security, had meant the burglar could walk into the shared lobby and close the door behind him, leaving him all the time in the world to break down the inside doors.
Our inner door was also too weak. We’d never experienced a burglary before, neither my mother, nor myself, and as two females living alone, we really should have. We had a flimsy yale lock on the inside door, which must have been easily shouldered through, as the damage when he broke in, was very slight.
So, for us, adding a new lock and changing the totally inadequate one on our flat door, made us feel safer for the next few years, and I’m much more safety conscious than I would have been, had we never been burgled.
When friends of mine leave their doors open when they’re at home, mine are always locked, unless it’s the patio doors when we’re out in the garden. Ingrained habits are hard to break.
Legal and General have written an excellent article that helps us to understand hour our lifestyle can affect the safety of our homes. It’s well worth a read for anyone who is unsure about thinking seriously about the potential for risk.
Having teenagers myself, it hadn’t hit me that a house with teenagers, actually increases our risk of being burgled, but it makes perfect sense to keep anything valuable out of sight, and not store things in the master bedroom.
Stay safe everyone, as as the run up to the festive season begins.