A friend recently urged our group of mums on Facebook to “please please please double-lock your doors” after burglars broke into her home and stole her husband’s car from their drive.

She wrote: “The Bad Guys used a tool to break open the front door but thankfully only took the car keys that were on the bottom of the stairs. No-one hurt except the bank balance replacing all the locks. Police said it’s been a common occurrence locally so please take extra care.”

And I thought we lived in a ‘safe’ neighbourhood.

How can I protect my home from burglars?

But there’s plenty you can do to reduce the risk. The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Bumblebee website is packed with useful advice including a Virtual House Tour that highlights vulnerable areas of your home, as well as dedicated sections on windows, doors, lighting, gardens, alarms and apartments.

Here are the Met’s Top 10 tips for securing your home:

1. Don’t leave your keys or ID documents within easy reach of doors, letterboxes or windows.

2. Close and lock all doors and windows. If you have multi-locking door handles, lift the handle, lock it with the key and remove it. Remember - LIFT - LOCK - REMOVE. Put the key in a safe place out of sight in case of fire.

3. Lock garages and sheds so garden tools and ladders can’t be used to break into your home.

4. Keep side gates locked and wheelie bins stored behind them.

5. Use timer switches linked to lights and a radio so it appears that someone is at home.

6. Invest in a safe for valuables and sentimental items, and securely fix it to a solid surface.

7. Install a visible intruder alarm system – burglars don’t want to be seen or heard.

8. Install low level ‘dusk till dawn’ lighting to increase visibility and deter burglars.

9. Keep side and rear boundaries high to restrict access and front boundaries low to
remove hiding places.

10. Photograph and mark valuables and sentimental items with your postcode and house number/name. Register items with serial numbers at the national property register Immobilise.

Share your top tips for protecting your home in the Comments box below.