Know your intruder

Mark Brookes

To assess the risk your home or business is exposed to, it’s a good idea to start by building up a picture of potential intruders.

Are you more likely to be up against a professional who has been tipped off about some highly desirable and valuable items that you have on site or just an opportunist thief looking for some quick cash?

Professional burglars, for example, will have tested different types of safe to find the optimum method of cracking them, so they won’t waste time by using the wrong tools or attacking the wrong spot.

The time it takes for specialists to crack a safe in a test lab is often not too much shorter than the time a professional burglar will need in the field. At the other end of the scale, an amateur can take five to ten times longer.

Build a profile 2Build a profile
of potential intruders

The bigger the prize, the greater the risk a burglar will take to get it, which might include using bulky, dangerous or noisy technology. An oxyacetylene torch gives off smoke and is easily seen, but criminals are prepared to take the risk of trying to cut their way into your safe if a substantial sum is involved – they might even bring their safe-cracking technology in a truck.  




Professionals   Amateurs
Can crack a safe quickly
  Will take 5-10 times longer




Are willing to take risks
  Will look for easy opportunities
Risk takers 1-1   Opportunist 1-1
Know which tools will be most effective
  Have no real knowledge of how one safe differs from another
Risk takers 2-1   Opportunist 2-1
Know where to target weak spots    Have no planned method of attack
Risk takers 3   Opportunist 3-1
Have more advanced safe-breaking equipment
  Use rudimentary & often unsuitable tools


Profiling the person most likely to target the property that you are securing, will give you far better insight into the type, grade, strength, capacity and design of the safe you need. Download our free guide for further tips on how to best protect your valuables.

How to choose the right safe for your business

This guide will help you avoid common pitfalls associated with buying a safe for your business.


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