How exposed and how secure is your home? As well as opportunistic burglaries, some burglars scope out a property beforehand, sometimes working with others. It's therefore important to think about measures to ensure your home looks occupied at all times, that there aren't any clear places where a potential burglar could hide to assess the house, and that their entrance to the house is visible and difficult. Ask yourself: Is it obvious when you're on holiday or away from the home? For example, are your curtains always shut or are there visible piles of unopened post? Are windows and doors left open, even if they're not easily accessible? Do your windows and doors have visible locks? How well lit is the outside of your home? Is there a spare key that’s easily visible, or easy to find, such as underneath a plant pot or above the ledge on the door? Are the lights on or off all the time, making it clear you're away? Do you have high walls and hedges, which could give burglars protection from being seen? Is accessing your house noisy for a burglar? For example, is there gravel around the property? Are there any ladders lying around that a burglar could use? What equipment do you keep in your shed and garage? What is its value and could it be used to help someone break in? How secure is the shed or garage? Is it always kept locked with high-quality padlocks and security locks? We've surveyed ex-burglars to discover what really puts them off, including everything from dogs to different alarm brands.