When the expert staff at Crown Securities UK are asked to design the best burglar alarm system for a home or business, it pays for them to be able to put themselves in the shoes of a thief.
Installers of home security systems are only too well aware of the weak spots when it comes to assessing the right alarm system for the job.
Expert and experienced staff, such as the security-vetted engineers at Crown Securities UK, know all the tell-tale signs that show a burglar where rich pickings are ripe and where the risks are too high.
Does an urban brick-built three-bedroomed semi-detached house with no garage, a fenced back garden and one car on the drive sound familiar to you?
Well, it will also look familiar to the average burglar as this is just the sort of house that's most likely to get burgled in the UK.
Make no mistake, once inside your home burglars will rob you blind, aiming first for high-value portable goods like jewellery, laptops and smartphones.
The top items most likely snatched in a burglary are electronics (87%), cash (54%) and jewellery (53%). On average, just over £2,000 worth of goods taken in a single housebreaking.
With one in 50 homes in the UK broken into each year that amounts to a whopping £972 million annually.
Don't imagine that your secret hiding places are safe either; burglars know where to look – even the less obvious place like washing machines and fridges. They will even empty cereal boxes to find what they want.
Add the cost of repairing the damage and the sobering fact that only one in six victims ever sees their property again, and it soon makes sense to think about a few basic security measures.
So, let's look at your house through the eyes of a burglar on the prowl. One of the first things to check out is a visible burglar alarm or security lights.
It's not that these are much of a problem for the burglar, it's just that someone with an intruder alarm on show has probably got other security devices in place, like decent locks. With so many other rich pickings in the street, why take the chance?
Next is scruffy paintwork. If a homeowner doesn't take much pride in their house, they probably won't bother to repair that broken window or door lock.
An overgrown garden with no lighting? The perfect cover for casing the place and easy for an unnoticed getaway after. No lights on inside? No one is home – just the ticket.
Alarms, locks, light: these are the biggest deterrents for would-be thieves. With just a few security measures in place, you can cut your chances of being burgled by a factor of five.
Add CCTV security cameras front and back, and your chances of being a burglary victim will fall even more dramatically.
It used to cost thousands to protect adequately against break-ins. Still, the drop in the price of sophisticated technological equipment means you can now get comprehensive security systems installed for just a few hundred.
Research show that nearly three-quarters of us don't even have a basic alarm fitted, a similar number don't' bother with security lights, and 12% have no extra safety measures whatsoever.
If you want to protect your home and family from burglars, it is just common sense to get security smart.