A large proportion of homeowners are failing to get the most out of their home security systems by neglecting to activate them before they leave the house.
This is according to new research commissioned by mortgage and loan provider Ocean Finance, which revealed that of the 43 per cent of UK adults who have a burglar alarm, 34 per cent do not always use it.
Those aged between 18 to 24 years old were most likely to be neglectful in this respect, with 40 per cent of those polled admitting they do not always activate the alarm when heading out of their properties.
Many homeowners will have a nominated keyholder - usually a friend or family member - who will also need to be supplied with the alarm activation code, which perhaps explains why 39 per cent of those taking part in the survey said their code is known by one or more people outside of their household.
While this is generally good practice, the research also demonstrated a worrying trend of disclosing security information such as this to tradesmen or other service providers. Unless absolutely necessary, owners should always seek to ensure it is either themselves or their nominated keyholder that grants access to the property.
The report also showed that 65 per cent of respondents would look for suspicious activity if they heard a burglar alarm going off in their street, while nearly one in ten said they would call the police immediately.
Ian Williams, spokesman for Ocean, said: "Having a functional alarm - particularly if it is an approved standard - could help to lower your home insurance premium and save you money, as well as keeping your home safe. However, it's not much use if you never set it."
This comes after a recent study from Direct Line revealed that 40 per cent of Britons have been parted from a valuable possession in the last five years, either due to loss or theft, underlining the importance of taking home security seriously.