I know that sounds frightening and I’m not trying to be funny. But burglaries are not usually spontaneous. The break-ins they happen to do tend to be predetermined.

Of the common things burglars assess when breaking into a property is to find out that it’s empty when they take action. We can’t control everything that happens around us and that means we are not fully responsible. However, caring lightly about not putting certain measures in place because it’ll cost us more and we’re not ready to do it, costs us real damage that we might have prevented from happening had we applied safety measures on the property.

“How much more safe can I get? My doors and windows are locked and my apartment is surrounded by other houses and CCTV cameras on the street”, homeowners asks.

Let’s get the picture.

You’re a landlord who has a vacant house and it’s been left there for a few weeks. You don’t want to think about it until it becomes necessary – normally when someone hires or rents the place – and in the meantime you are content with it being locked up and left alone in what you believe is done securely.

You could be far from being right about this.

Empty properties whether filled occasionally or unoccupied are exactly one of the main targets of burglars. One of the prime examples of this is a shared house with several housemates living inside. A burglar is watching them in their habitat going in and out of the house on certain times of the day, for work and shopping, and gets a general idea of when the house is empty. They also notice that the entrance door isn’t always locked securely because so many occupants are going in and out of the building and a couple of them forget to lock it.

This makes the property increasingly vulnerable to being trespassed and burgled. In the same breadth an empty property over a long period of time is defenceless against someone trying to break in, for reasons not only limited to stealing items, but to use as a space to take drugs, eat food, or to simply dwell in there for a limited time.

It puts you on the edge of your seat feeling deeply disturbed to know that someone was lurking around in your building who wasn’t supposed to be there at all. It’s scary, in fact.

Our very own Rashid of R&M Locksmith faced numerous incidents of attempted burglary in other people’s properties when his locksmith phone number was called by people pretending to be homeowners, tenants or landlords of the property. These individuals complained that they got locked out of their own buildings by accidentally leaving their keys inside, and require the locksmith to provide a duplicate key to access the house.

When Rashid arrived on the scenes for the first few times he noticed that each of these individual’s behaviour was peculiar. One of these incidents involved a call he received from a man urgently wanting to go inside, what he claimed to be, his house, and when Rashid arrived he came across a woman standing outside of the property behaving questionably. He knew something was wrong and called the police.

This kind of incident happened on more than a few occasions. It became clear to Rashid, as a locksmith, what the game is. These individuals try to break into vacant properties for various reasons.

Landlords have to take this matter seriously and be prepared for what to do to prevent it, or in the instance that it cannot be prevented, then how to handle the situation while it occurs or has occurred already.

I don’t want to scare you. That’s not my intention. In fact, it’s the opposite. I want to give you hope and courage but in a realistic way that truly benefits you. And in doing so, it was important for me to say what I have just did.

To solve a real problem requires an honest conversation. The solutions are really quite simple but getting there is the tough part. Some people are not able to afford the solution or have good

intentions to not consider it. Some of those people are not aware of the solution because of a barrier in relating to the latest technology allowing measures be put in place.

Yes, you have read that right. I didn’t even have to tell you to go out and purchase an alarm system because the chances are that some of these empty properties already have an alarm system. Not all of them do. But let’s assume that some have an alarm and some others do not. Why does the alarm system fail? Because maybe people don’t know about modern, smart alarms.

In the UK, the police will by all means turn up to your property if the alarm sets off – some of these alarms are false alarms – but they will take it being less serious of a matter after 3 false alarms. This isn’t your fault. Anything other than a stranger intruding your property can set the alarm off.

But you deserve more than becoming a low priority on the list of the police in case a real burglary was taking place in your property. One of Rashid’s suggestions is to take more control over your environment in your property through smart technology. Mobile apps now allow people to look at their house outside-in. You can detect activities and who is in and not in the house through your smartphone or tablet wherever in the world you are, using camera and alarms installed in your home.

Not only are cameras and alarms a good deterrent for burglars but you being able to watch your home on your mobile or tablet as if you are inside your house, can help you to take action sooner and get the police involved in case of a burglary taking place. You will have footage on your mobile phone to describe what occurred that made you take action.

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