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Tips for Safeguarding Your Home and Preventing Burglaries

Safeguarding your home from burglars

Determined and brazen thieves are using a combination of brute force and technological know-how to steal from rural properties.

As a result, rural theft cost the UK an estimated £49.5m in 2022 (based on NFU Mutual claims statistics). Compounding the problem are concerns that organised criminal gangs are targeting the countryside. But there are steps you can take to protect your family and property. We’ve worked with national police crime prevention initiative Secured by Design, to help you do just that.


The basics 

Ensure that you are making the best use of what you currently have. Remember to always close and lock doors and windows and maintain your property, check external lighting works and cut back trees and bushes so that buildings can be seen and there are no hiding places for burglars.

Be wary of bogus callers. Always check the identity of anyone you don’t know. If in doubt, don’t let them in.

When you go out, use timers on internal lights or smart lighting – which is controlled by your mobile phone – to give the impression you’re at home.

It’s also important to consider what you publish on social media about recent purchases and planned absences from your home, as criminals can use this information for planning crimes.


Doors and windows 

Most burglaries are the result of opportunist thieves gaining entry through open or unlocked doors and windows, according to the police.

For starters, remember: never leave your keys in the lock, and keep your doors and windows locked and bolted, even if you are just elsewhere in the house or garden.

Other steps you can take to better secure your doors include:

  • Check that doors and their frames are in good condition and that the door hinges are sturdy and secured with strong, long screws.

  • Ensure that any new doors you install are certified to a standard recognised by Secured by Design.

  • If fitting new locks to existing doors, make sure they comply with BS 3621 or PAS 3621 standards. Choose a locksmith from the list of official members of the Master Locksmiths Association. As well as being able to fit new locks, they will also be able to advise on the security options available to you.

  • Make sure that keys and valuables can’t be reached through openings such as a cat flap and add a security device to your letterbox to prevent someone reaching in.

  • If you can’t see visitors, consider installing a door peephole with a dusk till dawn light or a smart video doorbell.

For windows, consider the following measures:

  • If appropriate for your property, ensure that any new windows you install are certified to a standard recognised by Secured by Design.

  • An accredited adhesive window film can be applied to windows to protect


Your valuables 

Whenever they are not being used, store valuables such as passports, credit cards, identification documents and jewellery in a safe that complies with BS EN1143 standards to the appropriate grade. Your safe needs to be placed somewhere discreet where it can’t be easily discovered – ideally in an alarmed part of the house – and bolted to a wall or floor.

Property marking makes it easier for the police to trace and recover your possessions. Register with a Secured by Design accredited property marking system to assign your valuables their own unique code, allowing them to be traced back to you.

  • Register your valuables free of charge using a police recognised database.

  • Keep documents, such as receipts, so you can prove ownership.

  • Take photos of all valuable items, including antiques and family heirlooms, which are particularly attractive to criminals.

  • Have an intruder alarm system fitted by a UKAS approved installer and combine it with signs to deter burglars. Make sure you set it at night and whenever your home is unoccupied.

  • Security lights with motion sensors will also act as a deterrent to would-be intruders


This article was written by NFU Mutual Cobham

To discuss your high-value home insurance, contact Lauren Fletcher, Bespoke Account Manager or Alasdair Hogarth, Bespoke Insurance Advisor at NFU Mutual Cobham at 01932 865667

Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, has been a staunch campaigner for improved security in buildings for over 30 years. Visit the SBD website for advice and guidance on security standards and products that are accredited to the Police Preferred Specification standard at


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