A weapon is kept at home by more than a quarter of Manchester residents for protection, according to a new study.
Swinton Insurance found the most common security deterrent is a baseball bat, but heavy duty torches, walking sticks and sports equipment such as golf clubs, cricket bats and hockey sticks are also popular weapons of choice.
Researchers discovered that nearly one in ten adults do not feel safe in their home, with a third of people keeping something close at hand to protect themselves, mostly by or under the bed.
Steve Chelton, of Swintron Insurance, said: “It’s a sad sign of the times that so many British householders don’t feel safe in their own home.
“Many adults, especially those that live alone or feel vulnerable keep a weapon for peace of mind, without having the intention of using it.”
The study of 2,000 Mancunians revealed that 18% only keep a weapon for peace of mind.
However, 35% said they would go to grab it if they heard a noise at night, and 45% claimed they would use it on an intruder.
“You would hope people would have the sense to call the police if they inspected an intruder in their house and not try to tackle them themselves,” Mr Chelton added.
Three in ten of those asked sleep with their phone next to them as a safety precaution, while 43% leave their lights on when going out, and 17% go further by switching on the radio or television to give the impression the house is occupied.
One in 20 of the respondents said they feel unsafe in their house because they had been burgled before, but 10% brushed it off as ‘one of those things’.
Only 7% said they wished they had caught the thieves in the act.
Over half of those asked have a security alarm, but one in twenty never set it – with common reasons being they can’t remember the code or that pets and children set it off.
Just over a third would investigate if they heard a neighbours alarm going off, although 59% would only look out of the window.
Mr Chelton said: “If you do hear your neighbour’s alarm going off and you think a burglary could be in progress the call the police immediately.”