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Wednesday 19 July 2017

Plenty of ‘Duff Duff’ moments as Albert Square is revealed as soapland’s most dangerous place to live

With over 33.9 million viewers tuning in on a weekly basis, there’s no doubt that Brits are addicted to soap operas. And it seems that every week someone in soapland gets burgled, gets caught in an arson attack or something is set on fire. Soaps seem much riskier than real life, which could be why we’re obsessed with them.

But is this actually true? To find out which is the most dangerous soap once and for all, security expert ADT has teamed up with superfans of the top seven soaps to look at all the break-ins and fires at each over the past ten years, creating the ‘Soapland Security League’.*

The research reveals that Albert Square is by far the most dangerous place to live or work, a whopping 10 times more dangerous than Ambridge.

The Queen Vic comes out top as the most dangerous building in soapland, having seen nine break-ins and two fires in the last 10 years.

With the average break-in costing a business £13,570 and the average fire costing £3,000, this adds up to a whopping £128,000, a hefty price for any business to pay.2 In fact, 80 per cent of businesses which experience such a major incident close down within 18 months due to the financial burden so it’s surprising it’s still open.

Top reasons for break-ins and arson attacks include back doors left unlocked, no smoke or burglar alarms, single glazed windows, no motion sensor lights and no shutters on business properties.

Also surprising is that murder-heavy Hollyoaks only comes second in the Soapland Security League with 5.1 fires or break-ins a year.

The ‘quiet’ village of Emmerdale is an unexpected third with 4.5 incidents taking place over 10 years, followed by River City, based in the outskirts of Glasgow, which takes fourth place with 3.6 incidents annually.

The UK’s most watched soap, Coronation Street, comes trailing fifth place with 2.8 fires or break-ins, meaning that soap villain, Pat Phelan, needs to up his game. In fact, having been victim to three break-ins he may need to up his home security systems too.

The Welsh soap, Pobol y Cwm, comes in second-to-last with 2.3 fires or break-ins per year.

Finally, it appears that all is well in Ambridge, as the sleepy village which is the setting for The Archers comes in last in the soapland security table, with just 0.9 such incidents a year.

But – when compared to real-life regions, soaps aren’t as risky as you might think.

Comparing the soaps with their real-life local areas and the number of fires and break-ins over the past ten years*, only EastEnders and Hollyoaks came out as being riskier places to live. Albert Square had nearly three times as many fires or break-ins per year than Greater London and Hollyoaks had nearly twice as many as Chester and its surrounding areas.

But four of the soap locations – those featured in Coronation Street, River City, Pobol y Cwm and The Archers – came out as being less risky than the real-life surrounding areas.

In fact, Emmerdale was revealed to be the most realistic soap, as the picturesque soap town and the ‘real-life’ area of West Yorkshire both see an average of 4.5 incidents per year per 100 people.

Gail Hunter, from ADT said:
“Despite multiple disasters happening around them, soap characters tend to be quite lax when it comes to their security, often leaving doors unlocked, failing to install smoke alarms or invest in CCTV systems to protect their business – so it’s no wonder that the more malevolent characters like Nick Cotton (EastEnders), Silas Blissett (Hollyoaks) and Richard Hillman (Coronation Street) took advantage!

“But many of these thrilling storylines would have fallen flat if only the characters had taken some simple security measures – even just locking the back door would help.

“At ADT we know that Brits love the drama of soaps, but we’d like to help the nation keep that drama firmly on-screen. That’s why our experts have compiled a list of hints and tips for how to protect your home or business.”


1. Think about who you give your keys to, and make a note of who’s got them. Make sure to only give your keys to trusted friends, family or neighbours – not every Dot, Nick and Charlie

2. Bought a new home? Or just want to make your existing one more secure? Invest in a new smart monitored alarm system to go with it. Just make sure your alarm of choice isn’t a peacock – it might work for The Bull pub in The Archers but historically Indian peafowl aren’t as reliable as an ADT bellbox

3. Test your smoke alarms weekly. Sounds like a lot, but it’s important to know they’re still up to task, and we bet Kerry wishes she had one that worked well after drunkenly setting fire to Dale View in 2013 before falling asleep…

4. Without wanting to teach Pauline Fowler how to suck eggs – do make sure you’ve locked all of your doors and windows. The Beale-cum-Fowler-cum-Beale residence is about as easy to get into as Pauline’s bad books, mostly because the back gate is unfailingly unlocked!

5. We reckon Pobol y Cwm’s Dai might have recovered his valuable brown envelope (containing £5,000) if he’d marked it with a security pen. Simple, and he’d have saved himself time and money in the long run.

6. Installing a flood detection system can help to minimise damage and impact of floods on your property. Bet poor Christine Barford wished she’d invested in the technology ahead of the flooding in The Archers in 2015.

7. Check out your local crime figures with ADT’s Crime In My Area online tool. You can find out just how at risk you are from burglaries and break-ins – although we’re not sure anyone would want to move to Hollyoaks after using it!


1. Fireproof your premises. Sounds simple – but did you know The Woolpack doesn’t even have a spark guard on its fireplace? Terrifying!

2. Have you thought about an anti-theft fog system? Quick-releasing bursts of fog in under 2 seconds will be the last thing perpetrators might expect. Thieves might never have trashed Shieldinch’s One Stop Shop had their view been obscured…

3. Regularly review your business protection needs, your business fire and security requirements may be very different today than when it was installed. Walford’s Deals On Wheels car lot could have done with much stronger protection to prevent Phil Mitchell coming in with a bulldozer

4. Mini dome cameras can give the proprietor a 360-degree view of your entire premises. Though it may not fit in with the Edwardian décor, think of the heightened security options at The Rovers Return!

5. Locking your valuables away from prying eyes is a simple but effective method to reduce the risk of a break-in, especially where money’s involved! A fate that could have been avoided just last month at The Loft, when it was broken into by robbers trying to get their hands on Bart’s cash

6. Installing shutters to protect your doors and windows out of hours is a time-honoured way of defending your premises. This doesn’t have to be restricted to urban areas; Emmerdale businesses could do with a shutter system or two!

7. Only dole out keys or access codes to employees who really need them, limiting the number of keys/codes in circulation and lessening the chance of them falling into the wrong pair of hands. Warren Fox’s hands, for example…

For more information and #SoaplandSecurity quizzes, visit:, or join in the conversation on social media using #SoaplandSecurity

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