The dark nights, or should we say afternoons, are slowly but surely drawing in, especially since the clocks have gone back. This means that the hours of daylight aren’t particularly in our favour, but they most certainly are for burglars. They no longer have to wait until the night for opportunity to strike, as they have an open invitation from mid- late afternoon until the morning.
Business data from Co-op Insurance reveals that the number of theft claims increase by 35% in the months following the clocks going back. The insurance company also states the whole Winter season is deemed as the most common period for home break-ins, and Friday the most popular day of the week. Furthermore, past data suggests those in London are at the highest risk of break-ins more than any other part of the UK, followed by Manchester and Carisle not far behind.
Despite whether you are at high-risk or not, wherever you are in the world, it is important to stay vigilant all year round, especially over the Winter. Ensure you follow our steps on keeping your home safe during the darker months:
Let’s start with the most obvious, if you haven’t already, invest in a burglar alarm. The smartest place to fit one of these is somewhere highly visible, this will discourage entry as burglars will realise they are more than likely going to get caught. Imagine yourself in the eyes of a burglar, which home would you pick, one with an alarm or one without ( or at least one which isn’t on display)?
Lights, lights, lights, what makes the Winter months prime time for break-ins? Lack of light, meaning less chance of being seen and noticed. Therefore, a fairly evident preference is to light up whether this be indoors, outdoors, or even better, both. Outdoor security lighting is, of course, a great way to warn off burglars as they are likely to be seen by passers-by or neighbours. If you don’t have the budget to invest in outdoor lights, set your lights at home on an automatic timer, this should lead potential intruders to believe there is somebody in. (find one here)
Keeping lights on creates the illusion that somebody is home, as does noise. Turning on the radio or TV should also deter a potential intruder. Note, this should be in addition to both the investment in a burglar alarm and any sort of lights, as the noise will only be heard from someone already ready to break-in, as they need to be very close to notice any noise through walls.
If you don’t already have CCTV , there are now more affordable remote monitors such as ring (purchase one here). The ‘ring’ system or similar all tend to work in the same way such as being able to receive alerts from any personal device whenever there is motion outside. There is a lot more you can do with these systems such as hear and speak to anyone on your property and connect to PIR lights.
It is certainly a given to lock your doors, not only this but check, replace or fix faulty locks so that they are sturdy. This goes for windows too-it doesn’t matter where you live, any home is always at risk, so lock up at any point of entry.
Do you have contents insurance? There is no legal requirement, but it is advised. If the worst were to happen how would you replace your much-loved items? How do you know what’s covered by your contents insurance as opposed to your building cover? We have a very simple solution, imagine you turned your home upside down and gave it a good shake, anything that falls out is contents and anything that sticks is home cover. This is especially relevant at Christmas or Hanukah where you are more than likely to have expensive gifts at home. Additionally, you could always invest in a safe to take extra care of those items of higher value.
Garden maintenance may not be one of your first thoughts when protecting your home from burglars, but if your garden in unkempt this means overgrown hedges plants and trees which can encourage criminals to find the perfect hiding place.
Lastly, and probably the least considered, is social media. We live in a digital age where people enjoy posting about absolutely anything via social media. You may not think it, but posts relating to what you’ve bought or received for Hanukah, Christmas or any other religious holiday or celebration might entice burglars. So think twice before you post.
Not only are victims of burglary financially impacted but Co-op’s research also indicates the lasting emotional impact on those targeted.
“Of those people who have had their properties broken into, 80% say the crime has impacted their day-to-day life. 23% said they feel scared that it will happen again, whilst 16% say they still feel traumatised from the incident. As a result, one in ten have now moved to a new property.”
Please remember to take all of our home security tips into consideration this Winter to avoid becoming a victim of burglary.