What to do if someone breaks into your home

While the likelihood of being confronted by a burglar is slim, there is chance it could happen. The majority of burglaries tend to happen when the house is empty, but 28% of house break-ins are thought to occur when someone is home. This could be an extremely traumatic experience and you might be at a loss of what to do. We will go through some ways that you can handle the situation if this were to happen to you.

 

Burglar in your Home? Get to a Safe Place outside your Home

Many people ask “what is the first step if someone burgled my house?”. The police recommend your first course of action should always be to leave your home in the even that someone breaks in, and this is something we can’t stress enough. It’s been proven that burglars just want to be in and out of your property as quickly as possible and don’t want to cause you harm.

It’s likely that an intruder will already have an escape route planned, which according to statistics, is most likely out of the back door.

According to safe.co.uk:

“Burglars will have a clear exit to the rear of the property through the back door before heading upstairs to check the bedrooms”.

If we take this as correct, we would advise that you try and escape through the front door and stay as far away as possible from the back door. We would NEVER advise that you confront a burglar, as this is likely to cause a violent reaction. Nothing that they could take is worth risking your life for.

 

Activate Your Burglar Alarm System

Your second plan of action would to be activate your burglar alarm if you have one. This would be especially important if you have a panic button. If you don’t have an alarm fitted then try to set off your car alarm using your keys. Any loud noise will hopefully spook a burglar into running away.

 

Hide and Try to Call the Police

Your third option would be to hide. Once you are somewhere safe try to call the police. The best place to hide would be somewhere that you can either lock the door from the inside or barricade yourself in.

Once you call 999, you need to explain that someone has broken into your home. It’s important that you’re clear when you explain what is happening, although you could be extremely panicked in the moment, try to be concise.

If you are in a situation where speaking or making noise could put you in danger then you can stay silent and press 55 (silent solutions) this will alert the operator that you need assistance but cannot make a noise. Stay on the line so they can hear what’s happening, but it’s important that you stay where you are and wait for the police.

 

Be Calm, Collected and Compliant

If all else fails and you come face to face with an intruder then you have reached the worst case scenario. So, what do you do now?

One of the best things you can do is to stay calm, this is easier said than done, but try your best. The calmer you are, the calmer the burglar should be. Keep your voice at a normal level and don’t shout and scream. Don’t move towards the burglar and don’t make any sudden movements.

Another very important thing to do is to be compliant, hold up your hands and tell them to take whatever they want. Do not put your life at risk to stop them from taking anything. It could be that the intruder has covered their face with a mask or balaclava, but regardless of whether you can see their face, try not to make eye contact, and don’t look directly at them. If a burglar feels like you can identify them, then this could lead to an act of aggression.

 

What to Do After Your House is Broken Into

Your first course of action after you discover your home has been broken into, is to call the police. If you are 100% sure that the burglar is not still in the property then you should call 101.

However, if there is even a small chance the intruder is still inside then you should call 999. You MUST NOT touch anything before the police arrive, as they will be testing for finger and foot prints.

If the intruder is no longer in your property, then the police should arrive within a few hours, as the situation is no longer an emergency. Once they do arrive, they will take your full written statement, try to be clear and give as much information as possible. Once they have done all their procedures, you will be given a crime number to be able to track the progress of your case.

Once the police have left is when you should call an emergency Locksmith to secure your home. An emergency locksmith can either replace your locks or if your door is damaged beyond repair then they can do emergency boarding up, to make sure your home is secure. To find out more about emergency locksmiths visit our Emergency Locksmith Page.

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What am I allowed to do if someone breaks into my Home?

If a person were to enter your house without your permission, you are entitled to act in self-defence using reasonable force. The CPS have previously stated that you don’t have to wait to be attacked to act in self-defence, but they are very clear that only actions deemed necessary are counted as reasonable force.  

If you are to use force that is considered more than reasonable and a burglar was to suffer serious injuries during this, then you may be prosecuted. The general rule if self-defence is that the more extreme the situation the more force you can reasonably use.  

We would never recommend that you confront a burglar and it only to be used as a last resort. You need to try all other courses of action before this.

 

How do you Report an Attempted House Break-in?

If you suspect that a break-in attempt has been made, you should NOT call 999. Calling 999 is only used when you or another person are in immediate danger, or there is a crime currently being committed. As long as there is no immediate danger you should call 101 if you suspect there has been a break-in attempt.

 

What Attracts Burglars to Homes?

Any burglar’s aim is to be in and out of a property quickly, with as much stolen property as possible. So, they are more likely to target homes where they are least likely to get caught. Having things like overgrown trees and bushes and no external lighting makes it easier for a burglar to break in undetected. 47% of break-ins are spur of the moment decisions and are not pre planned, so the more secure you make your home the less likely a burglar is to choose yours.

One thing that will really attract a burglar to your home is exposed valuables. If they can see many of your most expensive items from the window then the more likely they are to try to smash and grab as much as they can. If your home looks very secure with no valuables on display a burglar is more likely to move on without attempting to break in.

 

Do Burglars Come Back After a Failed Attempt?

There are a number of things that thankfully could have prevented a burglar from entering your home; however, this doesn’t mean that they won’t try again. Unfortunately, the burglar thought that they would have been able to enter your home and would have targeted you for a reason, there is a chance that they still could think they may be able to do it successfully at a later date.

If all your security precautions do, thankfully, stop a burglar from entering your home, then that’s great. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you can relax, they could try again, they targeted your home for a reason and that might mean they will attempt to break in a second time.

 

How to Protect Against Future Burglaries

Consider Installing a Burglar Alarm

The physical sight of a burglar alarm is a great visual deterrent to ward off any burglars scouting the area but also provides the sense of peace that if someone was to enter your home the burglar alarm would sound, alerting people in the area of a break in and scare off the burglar.

Act like More People are Home

If you are home alone and the doorbell goes you should always try to make it sound as though you are not home alone, you could do this by shouting “Can some get the door please” before opening the door yourself. Deterring burglars is all about appearance, giving the facade that your home isn’t easy to break into, that there are multiple occupants in the house are factors that would be considered when a burglar is choosing a target.

Teach Children How to Respond To Strangers and Intruders

A knock at the door can be exciting for children, running up to see who it is and want they might want, but this can be partially dangerous if they were to accidentally let in a stranger. Teach your children to never open the door, especially if home alone, but instead turn on a light somewhere in the house and notify someone that there has been a knock at the door.

Invest in a Few Simple Items to Make your Home Less of a Target

There are multiple things that you can do to make your home more secure and a less attractive target to intruders. Simple things such as outdoor security lights, thorny bushes and anti-climb paint are all blockers that you can implement to secure your home. To find out how to secure all the different aspects of your home head over to our Ultimate Home Security Guide.

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What are the Chances of Someone Breaking into Your House at Night?

Shockingly, night house burglary doesn’t make up the highest percentage of when are houses burgled. Most burglaries actually happen during the day, typically between 10 AM and 3 PM when everyone is either at work or school. Despite that, most burglars will also take advantage of the dark to burglar houses so security lighting is always a good way to reduce your chance of someone breaking into your house at night!

 

Change your Locks after a Burglary

Don’t waste time thinking what to do after a burglary! Once the police have left your property then you should call an Emergency Locksmith to avoid a further potential of a thief breaking in, to check if any doors or windows are damaged, or to check if you need emergency boarding up services. Keytek® Locksmiths has local Locksmiths available 24/7 so we can help you out whenever. 28% of people will get burgled for a second time at the same address, so it is important that your house is secure. Burglars will often target the same house again because of ease and familiarity. They might think they have been successful once, so they can be successful again, so it is imperative that you engage a fully accredited, trustworthy Locksmith in the UK to make your home secure again.

 

For more info on what to do after a house break in visit our Burglary Page.

 

 

Updated January 2022

House Robbery Markings

Have you ever seen a strange marking on the side or nearby your house, such as on the curb or on your bin? Have you ever come across the term “burglar code”? Did you know that burglars have been thought to frequently use a symbol code to mark out residences they wish to break into? Burglars seem to be increasingly relying on codes, symbols, and markings to assist them in choosing houses to target and in recent times there has been much speculation about these signs, which is wittily dubbed the ‘da pinchi code’.

Although the comedic name is something to be wary of. You might be asking what do these signs mean and what should you do if you are worried about being burgled? Read through our blog to answer these questions and more!

 

What are House Robbery Markings?

These ‘robbery markings’ or ‘burglar signals’ are basic sketches and forms that are supposedly used as a ‘code’ to determine whether a house is worth targeting. These illustrations are also supposed to indicate to other thieves what type of person lives at the property, such as whether the residents are vulnerable, elderly, or live in a single-family home. Read below to know more about all thief signs on houses and how to protect your house!

 

The ‘Da Pinchi Code’

The da pinchi code is the name that has been used across social media sites and news stories over the last few years that have claimed to crack the code on burglar markings! The meanings behind the markings are deemed to mean things such as ‘vulnerable occupant’, ‘alarmed house’ and ‘wealthy’.

Recently, there have been new news stories related to the ‘da pinchi code’ which rules out these findings as being burglar code based on police research, instead the meanings of the markings being much more innocent. Check out our image below to see the markings, their supposed meaning and the true meaning behind them.

 

infographic house markings

 

What Do Burglars Use to Mark Houses?

Chalk is the main material burglars use as it is easily removed and not as noticeable as materials such as spray paint markings outside the house. As well as burglar chalk signs, burglars mark houses with almost anything they can; it may be a small blob of paint or a piece of string tied around a lamppost!

White and blue spray paint markings outside the house are the most common colours used by burglars. Make sure you keep an eye out for both colour pains to avoid getting burgled!

There was also a stint in 2018 mainly found in Dublin where burglars would place clear tape over the keyholes on the exterior access doors. If the tape is left intact for the next couple of days they would know the house is currently vacant!

As well as markings, burglars also may disguise themselves as door to door salesmen; this is what we call distraction burglary. They may also post fake Locksmith contact details through your door for example, always do your research before calling trades people to ensure they are legitimate! If you need a trustworthy Locksmith, contact us here!

 

Where are these Burglar Signs Usually Located?

The burglar signs themselves are often left somewhere on the property, such as a garden wall or driveway, but are also found somewhere nearby. Chalk marks on pavement, bin, lamp post, or curb are all examples of where you can find them nearby.

 

How do Robbers Pick a House?

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Burglars who place these signs on houses or in the neighbourhood have usually already scouted the area and determined which residences are potentially the best targets. In most cases, planned burglaries will have had the house watched for a few days to learn who lives there, their daily schedules, whether they have up-to-date home security system, and whether there is anything of value within the property. Learn more about how to avoid attracting robbers to your home in this guide!

 

How Do you Know if your House has been Marked?

You might find a few different symbols around your property that seem odd or strange, in odd places that the council or workmen wouldn’t leave markings for official work. If you happen to find marks on your property that seem out of place or like an illustration, this will be burglar signs!

What Should I do if there are Chalk Markings Outside my House?

So, you may have noticed strange chalk markings outside your house or nearby? First of all, take a photo of the suspected burglar sign, make a detailed note of its location, when you first noticed it and then wash it away as best as you can.

Next, we recommend that you contact your local council to ensure the markings weren’t left by their employees doing work along the street.

Following on, if not left there by the council contact the police using the non-emergency number, 101. They may advise you to keep an eye on and record suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, including strangers frequently walking up and down the road and looking or photographing yours or your neighbours’ homes! Take into consideration that burglar road markings are very common and therefore talking to your neighbours about this can also indicate whether they have noticed anything strange and you can ask them to keep an eye out moving forward.

Finally, it is strongly recommended that you upgrade your home security to be on the safe side, continue on to see our suggestions.

Myth Busters

Although you should always be wary of any strange markings that have appeared on your home, over the last couple of years some police forces have found that in actual fact these markings are harmless! Their investigations often conclude that these markings have been used by utility firms and broadband companies to plan upcoming works. So if you do happen to find weird markings round your property don’t panic!

Is the “Da Pinchi Code” the Only Robbery Markings used by Burglars?

Many people ask how to tell of a burglar is watching your house? Although the “da pinchi code” are thought to be the main markings used by burglars anywhere on or close to your house, there are other ways that is worth considering that burglars can use to keep an eye out on your property and test whether it is frequently occupied. If you have found a stone in front of your car wheel, then you should know it could be a test from a burglar to see if you use your parked car or not.

Another scenario that has been experienced by some residents is thrown food cans on your doorstep; it is another way to leave a mark on your property and undoubtedly if cleaned then the property is occupied while if it’s left for days then they assume it is not and find it a good burglar opportunity.

There are also some common signs which you should consider when thinking about your home security.  One of the most common indicators can be a random knock at your door. This can be done by burglars to see whether you have a dog or a security system that will alert them if they break in.

Random acts of vandalism may also be observed, for example a shattered window in a remote portion of your house could be a test to see if the house is occupied. Also, if you find your trash rummaged through or strewn about, it’s possible that someone is looking for information to see if you’re a good target.

If you have experienced any of the other mentioned signs, we suggest you do a quick search to see if your house is marked.

Make sure you consider the many types of markings a burglar can leave as it is not restricted to the ‘da pinchi’ code. What you can do in this case is join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme if you are away from home for a while!

 

How to Protect your Home Against Burglars

Here are a few quick tips that you can apply today to avoid house robbery.

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Upgrade your Home Security Knowledge with Keytek® Locksmiths

We are dedicated to helping you keep your home secure and avoid house robbery here at Keytek® which is why we are continually updating our security content on our website. If you were interested in this blog we recommend that you take a look at our Home Security Guide here where we break down home security into sections such as your front door, garden gate, outdoor lights and more.

Already checked out our Home Security Guide? Take a look at our blog page here; we aim to upload a new blog for our readers weekly!