#DidYouKnow that every year there are over 1 million burglaries and attempted burglaries in the UK? That equates to a burglary every 40 seconds…
The prime time of year for burglaries – winter – is fast approaching. The darker nights and the increasing flurry of activity through Halloween (5% increase) Bonfire Night (22% increase) and the lead up to Christmas provides ideal opportunities for opportunists to strike.
Here’s our professional tips to help you protect what’s precious this winter:
1. Choose Monitored
Anything that acts as a deterrent decreases the likelihood of a successful burglary.
The majority of opportunists will move on if they see a branded alarm system, or stickers in the window to show you have a system in place, with contact details featured to show it’s monitored.
And just a nod to the wise,“The more savvy burglar will know the sensors are fitted on the ground floor, so will try their arm at 'getting a leg up' and entering via an upstairs window. It’s worth putting a sensor on the landing.”
A good home security system can also use perimeter protection and pre-entry detection which can prevent a break-in before it’s even happened.
Working with a professional alarm installer can ensure all these aspects and more are considered when having an alarm fitted or upgraded to smart and monitored to protect your home.
2. Be Visual
While opportunists will be aware of the police cuts and media attention focused on the lack of follow ups to a home burglary, they know homeowners are increasingly watching their home with smart devices.
CCTV and the increasing use of video doorbells are great visual deterrents that are proven to work, and if a home has such technology, the police are actually more likely to act if a burglary was to occur, as there will be evidence available.
To make the most of your CCTV system, have it focused on the main areas of entry such as the front and back door and by the side of the property where people can get in unnoticed.
Additionally, just like the alarm, put stickers in your windows to inform people you have a CCTV system and it is monitoring around your property at all times.
3. Keep It Light
Traditionally, burglaries happen after dark, 32% in the evening and 23% during the night.
But equally if a burglar is keeping an eye on a specific street, they will know when to strike day or night, office hours or school runs. So, just as important as keeping lights on at home (especially if you’re out) remember the areas surrounding your home too.
A well-lit property gives a potential burglar less places to hide as they approach your property. Investing in a motion sensor light is a great way to increase your home security, especially in the winter months when the darkness starts early.
4. Look Outside
When thinking about your home security, consider wider than just your home. A typical opportunist will have considered your home right from the entrance point!
- Is your driveway gravel? In that case it’s all noise and something else to be possibly avoid
- Untrimmed hedge, stack of rubbish bags or unguarded fence panels? All give a potential burglar a place to hide from sight
- Are your rubbish bins next to a flat roof or side gate, allowing easy access to your home?
5. Be Key Smart
Alongside the latest smart security when it comes to alarms, CCTV and doorbells, even the humble key is now available in a smart option.
Instead of giving out spare keys to those who may need to access your home (carers, cleaners, tradesman), you’re able to present codes or fobs, much like commercial premises.
No more hiding the keys under the plant pots, a trick and treat an opportunist will never miss!
6. Don’t Give Burglars A Helping Hand
Making sure your shed is secure is important to help prevent your shed getting broken into – obviously!
But it’s also important as a shed often contains lots of tools which can assist a burglar. If your shed isn’t secure a burglar could use your own tools against you to get access to your home. Keep it locked up, alarmed and add it to your visual verification systems.
7. What Else?
- Home Automation: A system that switches lights (internal and external) on once it gets dark, or even opens and closes curtains, is a worthwhile investment. But just occasionally change the timings so a watching eye doesn’t learn your movements
- Social Media: If you choose to post your activities, especially with images and video, ensure your security settings are set to avoid your details reaching a watching opportunist
- Common Sense: Never leave keys or valuables (or Christmas presents) in sight or close to a door or window
- Look After Your Home: Be sure to get any repairs undertaken as soon as possible by a trustworthy professional; this includes repairs to perimeter fences, outdoor gates, sheds and other outbuildings, as well as to the home itself
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