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Ex-burglars reveal their insider secrets

Find out if you're likely to be a target

picking a lock

We reveal what helps protect you from burglary – from burglar alarms to dogs.

We’ve surveyed ex-burglars so that we can tell you exactly what puts them off, and what’s most likely to keep your home and family secure.

To uncover how burglars really operate, we surveyed over 100 ex-burglars and interviewed ten in depth. 

Our research revealed:

  • What is most likely to put them off 
  • If they can tell a dummy burglar alarm from a real burglar alarm
  • What makes you more likely to be a target for burglars
  • What they’re most likely to be looking to steal.

To find out the full results of our research, go straight to burglar trade secrets.

Are you a target for burglars?

Our exclusive research reveals that burglars are most likely to target detached houses, with semi-detached second. And our in-depth interviews reveal this is likely to be due to ease of access. 

As one ex-burglar told us: ‘I would avoid burgling terrace houses – there are too many people and you can’t get out quickly.’

However, it’s not just how they can get in, it’s also how overlooked this access route is. For instance, another said that they would look for high hedges and anything else that would protect them from a neighbour’s line of sight.

Being burgled is an awful experience. You can click the link above and use the results of our research – which includes insight into how burglars scope out properties – to help ensure your home is as off-putting to thieves as possible.

Burglar alarm brands

If you’re thinking about installing a burglar alarm, there are a number of decisions to be made. Such as whether you want a monitored or unmonitored alarm, as well as wired or wireless. 

Monitored alarms connect to a call centre and come with a monthly or annual contract. Whereas unmonitored are ‘bells-only’ or auto-dial you if there’s a problem. 

To find out which burglar alarm brands are best, we surveyed Which? members who own an alarm. We asked about everything – from ease of use to value for money – and have results for ADT, Yale, Chubb, Veritas, Scantronic and Response burglar alarms.

Go to best burglar alarm brands to find out more.

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