British homeowners are far too trusting – putting their homes at risk of theft, a new study warns.
A third of British householders leave their windows open when they are out (35 per cent) and one in ten (11 per cent) even leave doors open when they are not at home, while a fifth (22 per cent) have let a stranger such as a tradesperson into their home without checking ID. A further one in three (30 per cent) have left their keys hidden outside their house in a plant pot or under a door mat before, according to the findings.
The study commissioned by smart home security firm Canary to mark National Home Security Month (October 2017) found British homeowners are regularly leaving their homes vulnerable to break ins, despite a fifth admitting that they have experienced domestic burglary (18 per cent) and almost half (47 per cent) worrying about home security. The warning comes ahead of an anticipated surge in burglaries in the winter months with Office of National Statistics data illustrating a trend towards an increase in domestic burglary October to December compared with other times of the year.
Simple blunders could be costing the nation as much as £4.5 billion in stolen valuables. Indeed, one in ten British homeowners (11 per cent) admit they have lost their house keys and not bothered to change the locks, and many have left their door open during the night (20 per cent) making themselves vulnerable to burglary whilst they sleep. Additionally, over half of British homeowners (56 per cent) admit to not having installed a security device in their home.
The younger generation (18 – 24 year olds) were most lax when it comes to online security, with 57 per cent revealing they have shared their location on social media when they are not at home – advertising to would-be-thieves that their home is empty, compared to just 16 per cent of over 55s. 36 per cent of British homeowners said they have not even considered the security risks of sharing their location on social media, with over a third (37 per cent) preoccupied with making their online friends and followers jealous of their adventures.
The older generation are also more cautious when it comes to locking their doors with just 12 per cent revealing they feel safe enough to leave their doors open when they are out, compared to 54 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds. A further 17 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds left their front door open whilst on holiday and a quarter (25 per cent) had shared upcoming holiday plans with a stranger the highest of any age group.