The horrifying things we do to protect our homes

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Burglar looking at laptop through window

Most of us go to great lengths to protect our homes, but are we taking the right precautions - or are we putting ourselves at even more risk?

New research from insurance provider Policy Expert has revealed that some people are willing to do some pretty worrying things in order to keep their homes safe - with 48% of UK homeowners claiming they would confront a burglar found snooping around their home.

80% also confessed that they would investigate strange noises coming from a neighbour's house.

In defence of valuables, and of course family, nine in 10 (93%) homeowners think they should be free to use force against unwelcome trespassers, and one in 10 (9%) have even armed themselves for a home invasion, keeping a weapon by the bed.

However brave this may be, it is also extremely dangerous.

The best way to avoid having a dangerous confrontation is to mitigate the risk of burglars in the first place.

Seven in ten people (69%) leave lights on and two in five (39%) put their faith in burglar alarms in order to keep burglars at bay.

Here are some popular things people do to discourage prying eyes and probing hands.

Top ten burglary deterrents

1. Locked doors when in bed or out of the house 93%
2. Keep valuables out of sight 78%
3. Install security lights outside 69%
4. Leave lights on when out 69%
5. Install a burglar alarm 39%
6. Program indoor lights on a timer 32%
7. Buy a dog 27%
8. Play the radio when out 16%
9. Install a fake burglar alarm 9%
10. Keep a weapon by the bed 9%

Although they are plenty of steps we can take to protect our homes, we still make some very common mistakes.

One in 10 (12%) have had our homes burgled before, and there are suggestions this could be down to complacency about security.

29% of respondents admitted that they have left their front door unlocked in the past and six per cent count on luck, hiding keys somewhere subtle nearby, not only risking burglary but also invalidating home insurance.

On the plus side, it seems community spirit is still strong in the UK, as one in three (30%) are keeping spare keys with a neighbour, no doubt due to the fact that two in five Brits (38%) consider their neighbours really good friends.

Adam Powell, Head of Operations at Policy Expert commented: "We view our home as our castle and when pushed many are prepared to defend it like one! But the important message here is to discourage prying eyes and probing hands in the first place."

Top tips for protecting your home

1. Lock all windows, doors and side gates when leaving your property – even if just for a few minutes.
2. Check your home insurance policy, as some won't cover you if you leave the property unoccupied for a prolonged period of time.
3. Help prevent a 'letterbox burglary' by keeping keys away from the door.
4. Don't leave garden tools or ladders in an accessible place. They could be used to force entry.
5. Make your home look occupied with timers on your lights.

Don't risk your prized possessions – get a home insurance quote now

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