Three in ten burglaries happen while someone is home – here’s how to stay safe during lockdown

Crime rates are dropping, but we should always be on our guard

One of the silver-linings to come out of the pandemic has been a steep drop in crimes such as burglary. However, even while many of us are staying home, you still need to be on guard to keep your belongings safe.

Related: The new coronavirus burglary scam to be aware of

Business premises or rented accommodation left empty due to the lockdown are easy targets. However, according to research by Safewise, 3 in 10 burglaries occur when someone is at home. So we all need to be careful.

Izzy Schulman, director at locksmith's Keys 4 U shares his tips for how to prevent burglary in lockdown.

How to prevent burglary in lockdown

1. Keep windows and doors locked when you're home

a kitchen and dining area with white walls and a black door, grey cupboards, three yellow stools underneath a breakfast bar, with yellow roses on the table and kitchen bench

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Merewether)

47 per cent of UK burglaries are 'spur-of-the-moment' decisions. An open window or door could be too tempting for a burglar to resist.

'With summer approaching, it can be tempting to these open for some fresh air,' explains Izzy. 'But, as the average burglary occurs within an 8 to 12-minute window, it doesn't take long for an opportunistic intruder to strike.'

Keeping door and windows locked will make it harder for a thief to make a swift getaway. Making it less likely that your property will become a target.

2. Hide any valuables

a living room with large windows with wood and black framing, a white and brown wood desk underneath the window with matching rocking chair, a yellow and wood desk chair and a rug with multi-coloured squares

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Merewether)

'Leaving valuables in view of windows, doors and letterboxes can attract unwanted attention from opportunist thieves who can target items and be off in seconds,' says Izzy.

Keep any valuables such as keys, wallets or expensive gadgets out of sight of doors and windows. This will avoid them being targeted.

This goes for your garden too. Gardens can often be a blind spot for homeowners when it comes to leaving out valuable belongings.

Bicycles or expensive garden tools are often targeted, so keep them in a safe, secure location.

3. Change your routines

a white hallway with three hanging circle mirrors and photo frames on a black shelf

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

'Many burglars still prefer to plan their activity and part of the strategy is knowing the victim's routine,' explains Izzy. 'They'll often scout out a property for weeks, learning behaviour patterns like exercise and working routines, looking for their window of opportunity to strike.'

Lockdown rules have forced many of us into very predictable routines. Such as when we take our daily exercise or go to the shops.

Where possible, try to vary your daily schedule slightly. Switch between morning and evening exercise, or switch up the days you go to the shops.

4. Avoid advertising your location on social media

white and grey open plan office and kitchen, with a grey chair with red and white striped cushion next to a white circular table with wood dipped legs, and a tall and skinny grey filing cabinet with an orange lamp on top

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Merewether)

It can be really tempting to post real-time stories of your outdoor exercise breaks but don't. You don't want to give away any extra information about when you're out of the house to potential intruders.

'It's recommended to save your social media posts until you're back home,' adds Izzy. 'Review your privacy settings to make sure only close friends and family have permission to see your posts.'

5. Consider investing in a security system

The biggest deterrent to a burglar is a security system. Take a look at our round-up of smart home security systems and wireless security cameras.

If you don't have a large budget, consider investing in a smart doorbell that will record your doorstep.

Related: Experts reveal this is the time of day you're most likely to be burgled – and how to avoid it!

Burglaries are becoming increasingly unlikely at the moment. But sadly, when you drop your guard, that is when it is most likely to happen.

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.