Three bedroom homes suffer the most burglaries Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Three-bedrooms is the magic number for burglars

Three-bedroom homes account for almost half (46 percent) of all break-ins in the UK.

Churchill Home Insurance research found that the most at-risk properties are three-bed semi-detached. Then it is four-bed detached, followed by three-bed terraced houses.

Research amongst burglars reveals surveillance opportunities, side and rear access are all easier with end of terrace properties.

Burglars questioned said

“I’d always pick an end house, wouldn’t pick one in the middle. If it was a terrace it’d always be an end one” and “I would look for …corner houses, ones with back alleys.”

The analysis of claims data reveals end-terraced houses account for more than a quarter (28 per cent) of burglaries on streets with terraced properties. This is despite being significantly outnumbered by mid-terraced properties.

Living in a ground-floor flat means you are twice as likely to be burgled than someone on the first floor. Ground-floor burglaries accounting for 65 per cent of all apartment burglaries.

Property types at most risk of being burgled

Rank Property type
1 Semi-Detached House
2 Detached House
3 Terraced House
4 Detached Bungalow
5 End of Terrace
6 Semi-Detached Bungalow
7 Ground Floor Flat
8 First Floor Flat
9 Maisonette
Source: Churchill Home Insurance 2017

Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance, said:

“It is clear the risk of burglary is directly related to the ease of access and location of a property.

“Taking steps such as installing security lights, external CCTV, burglar alarms and anti-climb paint can all help deter criminals”

There were 171,527 recorded incidents of domestic burglary in the UK between April 2016 and March 2017. This is an increase of 2,700 (two per cent) over the previous year.

The analysis also revealed that an unlucky 2.2 per cent of properties were burgled more than once over the last three years. 95 per cent of this number were burgled twice, 4.4 per cent were burgled three times and 0.7 per cent four times.

“On average, there were 470 recorded burglaries every day across the country in the last financial year.

“We want to encourage people to be aware of their home’s vulnerabilities and install the relevant security measures to make life as hard as possible for intruders.”

Churchill’s top tips for protecting your property are:

  • The best burglary deterrent is for the home to be occupied, so if you are away ask neighbours to pop around, leave a light on or invest in timed lights. Don’t make it obvious that no one is home
  • Think like a burglar and see where the best points of entry to your home are. Make sure all windows and doors are locked and if you have a burglar alarm, use it and keep it clean so it looks like it is used and serviced regularly
  • Ensure all locks to the property have a British Standard Kitemark (BSI) as a benchmark of quality
  • Don’t leave ladders or tools accessible outside, as a burglar could use them to help gain access to the property
  • Try not to leave packaging for new expensive goods outside your home. It is better to take it to a public recycling bin, as it can attract burglars. Do not leave expensive, portable items like tablets or laptops in clear view
  • If you keep power tools, golf clubs or garden equipment in an outbuilding or shed, make sure the shed is locked and/or has security features such as an alarm or security light
  • Ensure any security features which allow you to track your phone or tablet are turned on as this will help police locate your device should it be stolen. If you are burgled, also call your contract provider immediately and have the line and phone blocked