More than a quarter of British homeowners have a weapon in their home to use on intruders, a study by insurance firm Swinton has revealed.
Researchers found that nearly one in ten adults doesn’t feel safe in their own home and 27 per cent of householders keep a weapon ‘just in case’.
More than a third of those people keep something close at hand to protect themselves from any unwanted visitors with the most popular places being either by or under the bed.
But 17 per cent keep a weapon by the front door according to the poll by the home insurance retailer.
The most common security deterrent was a baseball bat, followed by a heavy duty torch. But one in ten has a walking stick as their defence against intruders.
Sports equipment was a common choice as golf clubs, cricket bats and hockey sticks were all listed as precautionary weapons.
Steve Chelton of Swinton said: ‘’It’s a sad sign of the times that so many British householders don’t feel safe in their own home.’’
‘’If you feel vulnerable it’s important to do everything you can to secure your home by fitting good locks on windows and doors alongside installing devices like alarms and security lights.
‘’Many adults, especially those that live alone or are vulnerable keep a weapon for peace of mind, without having the intention of using it.
‘’You would hope people would have the sense to call the police if they suspected an intruder in their house and not try to tackle them themselves. Of course it is also vital to have adequate home insurance in case the worst should happen and people need to replace damaged or stolen items.’’
The study of 2000 householders revealed that 25 per cent of people do in fact keep a weapon in their home purely for peace of mind and one in twenty said they would never use it.
An edgy 25 per cent said they would go to grab it if they heard a noise in the house at night and 44 per cent said if faced with an intruder they would use it.
As a safety precaution four in ten adults sleep with their phone next to their bed and 41 per cent make a point of leaving lights on when they go out.
Thirteen per cent go as far to leave a radio or television on to give the impression the house is occupied.
One in twenty of the respondents polled said they feel anxious in their house because they had previously been burgled but 13 per cent of burglary victims brushed it off as ‘just one of those things’
A vengeful eight per cent said they had wished they had caught the thieves in the act.
Despite a third of British homeowners having a security alarm installed, 28 per cent never actually set it. 13 per cent said they only bother activating the alarm if they go on holiday.
One in twenty doesn’t set it because they can’t remember the code and 15 per cent claim the pets and children always set it off so they don’t bother.
Less than a third of people said they investigate if they heard a neighbours alarm going off, although 61 per cent said they would merely look out of the window.
Steve Chelton added: “We would always encourage homeowners to invest in security devices like burglar alarms and security lights.”
‘’Likewise if you do hear your neighbours alarm going off and you think a burglary could be in progress then call the police immediately.
TOP TEN HOUSEHOLD WEAPONS
Air rifle / air gun