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10 things burglars love!


There are a number of things burglars will look for when they case a house to see how easy it will be to get in. Find out how to protect yourself and deter thieves.


  • Spare keys - Think it's still OK to keep a spare key under the flowerpot? Think again. Burglars know all the hiding places, better to leave your spare keys with a neighbour or friend you trust.

  • Patio doors and ground floor windows These are a particular favourite for burglars, keep them shut and locked, especially when you leave the room. If you have patio doors make sure you invest in secure glazing and locking systems.

  • Small and expensive - Your 42-inch TV might be safe because burglars these days tend to target small, expensive items they can easily grab. Keep cash, watches, jewellery, laptops, mobile phones and games consoles safely hidden.

  • The vulnerable Students, the elderly and people moving house are all particularly susceptible to burglary. See our information on tips for the elderly here.

  • Tools - Tools have long been a favourite of burglars because they can be easily sold or traded. There is a never ending demand for specialty tools on the illegal market.

  • Unsecured firearms If you have a licence to keep firearms be responsible about how you store them. Firearms have a high black-market value - don't put them out there.

  • Electrical equipment - Electronics are also favourite targets for criminals because they can be easily sold or used for personal use. Electronics are not hard to find in the home as people often use them on a daily basis. Consider buying 'lock down' plates for your electrical equipment, back up your computer data regularly and look for products with built-in security devices when you buy.

  • Good getaways and hiding places - Burglars like houses that have easy escape routes or plenty of bushes to hide in should they be disturbed. Simple things such as placing flower pots beneath ground floor windows makes their lives harder as does putting good external lighting over any dark corners or bushes.

  • Scatty residents - People who leave their ground-floor windows open or leave ladders carelessly placed against a wall are advertising their house to burglars. Do not assume that because you are in the house you can keep those windows open or let your guard down either, many burglars will go for occupied homes at night knowing that they will contain wallets and mobile phones.

  • Holidays - Leaving the newspapers building up on the doorstep or forgetting to cancel the milk are all sure-fire signals to a burglar that the house is empty.

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