When I was a teenager my mum's house was burgled at night while I was there. My mum had gone away in our caravan so I presume the burglars thought there was no-one home. It was the most terrifying experience of my life. I had stayed home to perform with the orchestra I was a member of, and was asleep when I heard glass smashing.
I immediately threw myself under the bed and lay there shivering with fright until dawn when I braved a dash out of the front door to a neighbours house armed with a hairbrush!
Luckily I got out of the house unharmed and it transpired that our burglars were people squatting in an empty house nearby and all they took was food. Still, it still gives me chills to think how easily I could have been an item on the evening news.
Thankfully most break-ins don't result in violence or murder but the psychological effects of being a victim of this kind of crime can be deep-seated and long lasting.
The break in at our home was just a few weeks before I was due to start university. I could not sleep in that house again and ended up staying with my boyfriend's family until uni. My mum moved house with more security including an alarm.
One of the best ways to protect your home is with secure doors and windows. The intruders got into my home via the front door, brazenly risking being seen by people driving along the dual carriageway outside my home which was busy throughout the night.
You can get standard doors from your local DIY shop but for real peace of mind you could consider getting security doors by Secure House, specialists in high security items for any size home.
They even offer bullet proof doors which sounds OTT but when you consider the rising problem of gun and gang-related crime in this country might not be a bad idea, especially if you live in a city or suburbs where crime numbers are statistically higher.
You might think that high security doors would be solid and ugly but in fact you can get some beautiful doors complete with glazing if you like. Whether you are looking for a communal door or an impressive front door, choosing something specifically designed by security experts sounds like a good idea.
The number of burglaries dipped during lockdown but sadly has started to rise again. You'd think that only big posh houses would be targeted but actually semi-detached homes are most likely to be broken into according to recent survey.
There is obviously some financial outlay involved upgrading doors and windows and adding other security measures but most insurance companies will offer discounts for top notch products fitted professionally.
Most of all however I think the cost involved is way outweighed by the peace of mind, knowing you can sleep easy in your bed without worrying about unexpected night-time visitors or the horror of coming home to realised it's been invaded and your precious items are gone.