Legal & General study reveals Brits Feel Unsafe in Their Own Homes

Millions would like motion detectors or private security patrols.

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It used to be the case that having four walls around us was enough to feel safe. Today, though, many Brits are looking at what technologies and services are out there to give them more peace of mind.

(PRWeb UK) April 23, 2010

Burglary rates may be dropping*, but millions of Brits still worry about break-ins, according to the latest study of UK attitudes to home safety.

Legal & General’s ‘Under Lock and Key’ study, which involved more than 4,000 people from across the UK, shows that barely half of Brits (57%) feel safer in their own homes than they do outside. Almost one third (30%) of people worry about break-ins and 14% have nightmares or worry about finding an intruder in their home.

This has led to people wanting more home security. Many of us would like to have more security than a simple burglar alarm to protect ourselves, our loved ones and possessions. More than half (52%) of Brits have or would like to use CCTV, 57% have or would like to use motion detectors and almost a third (30%) have or would like to use a private security patrol. And over a third (37%) of people even say that, if money were no object, they would like a ‘panic room’ in their home.

Garry Skelton, Marketing Director of Home Insurance at Legal & General, said: “It used to be the case that having four walls around us was enough to feel safe. Today, though, many Brits are looking at what technologies and services are out there to give them more peace of mind."

“Our homes and belongings are a part of our identity and the fear of them being invaded or taken by a burglar is understandably powerful. If people feel unsafe in their homes, then just taking sensible safety precautions could make them feel much safer.”

Under lock and key

Over a quarter (27%) of Brits are already locking their precious belongings away. More than one in ten (12%) owns a traditional safe, 9% own a locked box they hide, 6% own another type of safety storage device and a third (35%) would consider getting one.
The top items people most want to protect are:

  •     passport (58%)
  •     birth certificate (49%)
  •     money (35%)
  •     jewellery (34%)
  •     insurance policy (31%)
  •     wedding certificate (28%)
The findings suggest that people are likely to protect important items or items of high worth, as well as belongings of sentimental value. For example, three per cent of people use a safe or other secure storage device to store drawings done by their children.

On patrol

The research also revealed that keeping things under lock and key is not the only safety measure Brits are using to protect their belongings against burglary. Despite Home Office statistics showing that crime rates, including burglaries, are falling*, people continue to have structured routines around safety to achieve peace of mind. More than half of people (53%) double check doors and windows are locked before they go to sleep, and another 14% repeat this ritual more than twice.

Garry Skelton continued: “Making our homes secure is key to giving us peace of mind. Often the most effective ways of keeping a home safe are the simplest and cheapest. Get to know your neighbours, for example, and ensure your doors and windows are locked and an alarm is activated.”

To identify the locks and security devices on your doors and windows, and help establish if a home meets an insurer’s security standards, Legal & General has produced a guide, which can be found http://www.legalandgeneral.com/locks-guide.

Legal & General also offers the following guidance to people seeking to protect and safeguard their home and possessions:

Top ten home security and safety tips

1. Use security devices ALL the time.
2. Check your burglar alarm works or consider installing one if you don’t have one already. These should be regularly checked in accordance with the installer’s or manufacturer’s recommendations, which normally suggest annually.
3. Check window and door locks carry the British Standards Kitemark.
4. Lock doors and windows when leaving home, even if it’s only for a few minutes or when upstairs.
5. Make sure your shed and any other outbuildings are secure.
6. Don’t advertise your absence with notes to tradesmen or friends left in obvious places. Cancel milk and papers when on holiday and ask a neighbour, friend or relative to push mail through the letterbox so that it can’t be seen.
7. Prune shrubs and hedges near the property to minimise the cover burglars may use to hide.
8. Make sure wheelie bins are secured as they can be used as an alternative ladder.
9. Don’t leave valuables in view.
10. Don’t let strangers into your home without proof of identity.

For further information or to set up a media interview, please contact:
Stuart Lambert/Dominic Weeks/Katie Shaw        
Fishburn Hedges                
020 7839 4321                
fisrtname.lastname(at)fishburn-hedges(dot)co(dot)uk        

Notes to Editors
*http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/bcs1.html

Research methodology:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4189 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th - 22 January 2010. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

1. The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions. Full consumer product information can be found at http://www.legalandgeneral.com/home-insurance or by calling 0800 0277156. We may record and monitor calls. Lines are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Alternatively, consumers should speak to their insurance adviser to check they do have adequate cover in place.
2. Legal & General Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
3. Issued by Legal & General Insurance Limited. Registered address is One Coleman Street, London EC2R 5AA. Registered in England No 423930.

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