Only four out of ten housholders lock their doors when they leave the house

Almost half of all homes are left unlocked when householders go out – reveals home security experts & Neighbourhood Watch partner ERA in new research today.

• Most basic home security measure ignored by more than four in ten householders.
• Survey of 2000 householders by valued Neighbourhood Watch sponsor ERA Home Security.
• Residents uged to lock their doors and ensure locks are compliant with British Standards.
• Findings come as latest crime figures show recorded number of domestic burglaries in England and Wales has fallen*.

Almost half of householders leave their house unlocked when they go out, according to new research from our partner ERA.

In a survey of over 2000 home owners across the UK, 42% of people said they regularly leave their home unlocked and would only think about locking the door if they were away overnight. In addition to the obvious risk of burglary, the ERA Home Security Survey also revealed that less than half of us would change our locks even if we lost our keys.

Commenting on these findings, Kate Algate, CEO of the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network, said: “Burglary figures might be down but it’s still a very real risk – it hasn’t gone away. Locking your door when you leave the house is the most basic piece of crime prevention advice we offer and we’re disappointed to see that so many people are still not taking that on board.

“Locking your door is critical as most burglaries are opportunistic and thieves will always choose, quite literally, the path of least resistance. Nothing is as easy or as convenient to a burglar than an unlocked door.

“We’re pleased to see domestic burglary in the UK is on a downward trend* and of course that’s good news. But we will continue to work with ERA to really educate householders about keeping their homes secure, but it really must start with the basics – lock your door every time you leave your house, it’s that simple.”

Commenting on this new research, Tania Tams from ERA says: “The fall in domestic burglary in the UK is welcoming news – whether that’s because homes are more secure or because burglars have turned their attention elsewhere this good news has to be balanced against our findings – it seems a lot of people are still, by and large, quite naïve about the risk of burglary. We know through our partnership with Neighbourhood Watch that often people only really think about home security after a break-in. That is really worrying.”

Further findings from the research reveal that only half of us with a burglar alarm actually activate it (48%) evey time we leave the house and one in four householders don’t even know if door and window locks are compliant with the terms of their home insurance.

Increasingly CCTV is becoming a popular deterrant with 12% of us now monitoring our homes remotely but when it comes to investing in our homes, upgrading our security falls way behind the priorities of a new kitchen or updating the décor.

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*Statistic taken from the latest Crime in England and Wales Survey for year ending September 2016, published on 19 January 2016. For further information click here.