New research has revealed the UK homes most at risk of a break-in and burglary, with three-bedroom homes topping the list of the most desirable targets for thieves, accounting for 46% of domestic break-ins.
The latest data, from Churchill Home Insurance, also claims that those that live in ground-floor flats are more likely to be burgled than those that live on higher floors, with 65% of all flat break-ins taking place on the bottom level of apartment blocks.
Research carried out among burglars affirmed that end-of-terrace houses present much more attractive targets, rather than those in the middle, as well as ones with quick exit routes, such as a back alley.
But there are ways you can secure your home and protect your possessions. Whether that’s with a burglar alarm, a wireless security camera, or with a smart home hub with security features, including a door sensor and motion sensor.
It’s also worth having home contents insurance, which covers the cost of replacing your belongings in your home if they are damaged, destroyed or stolen. Read our golden rules for buying contents insurance for more information.
Buying an alarm
To effectively protect your home, picking the right burglar alarm is essential. You can opt for a bell alarm that will alert those in the vicinity and hopefully scare off the culprits, or a dialler alarm which will notify assigned numbers. These are pricier, but a dialler alarm is a more sophisticated option. Alternatively, you could go for a smart home security set-up, which allows you to monitor your home 24 hours a day from your smartphone, no matter where you are.
A security camera can be a good way to keep a watchful eye over your property, as well as doubling as a deterrent to those thinking of breaking in.
Netgear Arlo Q – £120
The Netgear Arlo Q records in high definition, and comes with seven days of cloud storage, which means you can access the footage it records for up to a week. If you want it stored for longer, you’ll need to buy a more expensive package. It’s not waterproof, so it’s only suitable for indoor use.
The footage can be viewed in real time on a computer or smart device, wherever you are, and the images are encrypted, so they can’t be intercepted and viewed by others. Signing up for the Arlo cloud service offers support for five cameras, meaning that you should be able to cover most areas of your property.
Read our full review of the Netgear Arlo Q security camera to find out more.
Nest Cam – £160
Made by Google, the Nest Cam purports to have excellent night vision, ideal for picking out nefarious activity after hours. Like the NetGear Arlo Q, any footage can be viewed from a computer or smart device, and the images are stored for either 10 or 30 days, depending on the package subscribed to. It’s also possible to use without a subscription, with the live feed sending alerts directly to you.
As well as Full HD footage, it’s equipped with two-way audio, meaning that you can not only listen to what the camera is hearing, but also speak to those in the room, whether that’s to tell a potential burglar to clear off, or to remind a child to get on with their homework.
Read our full review of the Nest Cam security camera, to see whether it’s worth picking up.
As well as dedicated cameras, a smart hub system can also provide peace of mind while performing many functions. A smart hub allows you to control various products around the home, from cameras to powers sockets, and lights to speakers.
Panasonic Smart Hub
The Panasonic Smart Hub can only connect to other Panasonic products, but there are plenty to choose from. It can be purchased on its own, but most people will buy it as a kit that includes items such a door sensor and motion sensor. The most complete package includes an internal and external camera, and it comes in at between £300 and £400.
The hub connects to your home wi-fi, with any other compatible products automatically connecting too, which makes it simple to set up. It’s also easy to set up routines via the smart hub’s menu, for example automatically recording video when the motion sensor is tripped, or turning on the lights at regular times when you’re on holiday, to make it look as though the property is occupied.
Read our full review of the Panasonic Smart Hub to see whether this package is right for you.