The average Briton appears to be far more cunning than might have been previously suspected as regards keeping their own home safe from burglary. A new study demonstrates the lengths that many homeowners will go to in order to protect their property and possessions.

The ubiquitous Beware of Dog sign has long filled both would-be burglars and innocent passersby with a niggling worry that a gigantic Alsatian could loom into view at any second, but according to the report, 2.5 million Britons leave such a sign on display, along with a dog bowl – when they in fact do not have any canine companion at all.

10% of those who took part in the survey also said they asked their neighbours to regularly move their cars into different parking spots, while 29% of home owners got their neighbours to open and close their curtains while they were away.

Perhaps most surprisingly, 13% said they fed mis-information into Facebook and Twitter in an effort to give the impression they were still in residence. Taxi drivers too, were not trusted by 13% of those surveyed, who said they would give the impression their home was occupied in their absence, if the question arose.

One particular question related to the government’s recent plans to place citizen’s rights to protect their property into statute law – over 57% said they would be prepared to use violence or take matters into their own hands should a burglar or other intruder enter their home.

The survey, conducted by esure, demonstrates the imaginative ways British homeowners go to in order to keep their property and belongings safe. But the ultimate peace of mind offered by insurance – whether basic domestic insurance or holiday home insurance – is still relied upon by the majority of Britons, ensuring material possessions are replaced in good time should a burglary occur.