British householders appear more nervous than ever before when it comes to burglary, with nearly a quarter (23 per cent) admitting to keeping a weapon near their bed while they sleep, according to research from this very website.
Controversially, 91 per cent of people believe that they should be able to defend their homes with ‘lethal force’.
Of the people who kept ‘an equalizer’ by their bed, a hammer or ‘heavy object’ was the most popular item people would use to ward off burglars, with 14 per cent of weapon-toting Brits favouring this method of defence.
This was followed by a baseball or cricket bats (10 per cent). Nine per cent kept a knife or ornamental/replica sword. Three per cent said they kept a firearm such as a rifle, handgun or shotgun. We also found that more than half (51 per cent) fret about their home being broken into, with 47 per cent saying that they don’t answer the door after dark. Mark Greening, head of home insurance at Gocompare.com said: “We were shocked by some of the results of this survey. Crime is a major concern for many UK householders with some even suggesting that they’re prepared to defend themselves and their homes with weapons against intruders. Rather than putting themselves in harm’s way, when it comes to home security prevention is much better than cure.
"Householders can take a range of measures to make their homes less attractive to intruders, and home insurance can help you to replace your possessions if you are targeted by burglars. It’s really not worth putting yourself or your family at risk when you have home insurance to help you pick up the pieces.”
Tips to make your home less attractive to burglars
- Put burglars off by fitting outside security lighting and securing your doors and windows. If you can afford it, consider installing a burglar alarm. Burglars are more likely to go for soft targets. If possible protect your boundaries with walls, fencing or dense hedging and have gates at access points.
- Try to make it look like the house is occupied even when it isn’t. Keep a light on in the evening if you’re out or even better use a timed light to go off to make it look like you’re indoors. When you’re on away on your hols, ask a neighbour to clear the post away from the door and remember to cancel things like milk and newspaper deliveries.
- Keep valuable gadgets like laptops, phones, cameras and car keys out of view from windows and close your curtains at night. Leaving stuff in view may tempt a burglar to chance his luck and ‘have a go’. - Keep your sheds, garages and other outbuildings secure and keep things like bicycles, lawnmowers and power tools safely locked away.
- Make sure your home and belongings are protected by an adequate home contents insurance policy, just in case.