TIM DREW: Homeowners tempting fate with unlocked doors

Almost half of all homes are left unlocked when householders go out, according to home security experts and Neighbourhood Watch partner ERA following recent research.

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

In a survey of more than 2,000 homeowners across the UK, 42 per cent of people said they regularly leave their home unlocked and would only think about locking the door if they were away overnight.

In addition to the obvious risk of burglary, the ERA Home Security Survey also revealed that less than half of us would change our locks, even if we lost our keys.

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Commenting on the findings, Kate Algate, CEO of the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, said: “Burglary figures might be down but it’s still a very real risk – it hasn’t gone away.

“Locking your door when you leave the house is the most basic piece of crime prevention advice we offer and we’re disappointed to see that so many people are still not taking that on board. Locking your door is critical as most burglaries are opportunistic and thieves will always choose, quite literally, the path of least resistance.

“Nothing is as easy or as convenient to a burglar than an unlocked door and home security really must start with the basics”.

Further findings from the research reveal that only half of us with a burglar alarm actually activate it (48 per cent) every time we leave the house and one in four householders don’t even know whether their door and window locks are compliant with the terms of their home insurance.

CCTV is becoming a popular deterrent with 12 per cent of us now monitoring our homes remotely but, when it comes to investing in our homes, upgrading our security falls way behind the priorities of a new kitchen or updating the décor.

• The next meeting of the Offington Neighbourhood Panel will be on Thursday, March 2, at the Thomas S Becket PHS in Rectory Road at 10am.


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