The clocks went back on October 26th and the nights are starting to get dark faster. With this I am afraid, and according to the ONS, it also comes with an increase in burglaries.
Therefore, it is highly advisable that you take some precautions and preventative measures against burglary, before the winter fully arrives.
Keep your doors locked when you are at home. And of course especially when you go out.
Avoid, or never, leave a spare key by the back door.
Always keep car keys, and other valuables, out of sight and away from windows and doors.
Ensure all your house locks match British Standard requirements.
Always leave a light on. And use a timer switch to turn on lights inside the house.
Always draw your curtains at night.
If you have a burglar alarm installed, then use it. If not, consider getting one installed.
Unfortunately as it is getting darker, during the winter it is easy to find out when a home is unoccupied. So any of the above security measures can help prevent burglaries and give an opportunistic burglar second thoughts when attempting to break in to a property.
Increase your security
Here are some simple (easy-to-do) tips to help keep your home and valuables safe whilst you are out or away on holiday.
Let your well trusted neighbours know you are away on holiday. But only those you trust well enough to tell. This will give them the opportunity to keep an eye on your house whilst you are away. As if they spot any suspicious behaviour they can call the Police if needed. As also, provide your neighbours with your contact information whilst you are away.
Ground floor windows and any other windows that are easily reached by climbing should have an automatic lock at the press of a button and only a key will open thereafter. Some newly built properties may have this mechanism already installed, but older properties may not. Installing modern locks may also lower your home and contents insurance. It is also important to have robust locks on both the front and back doors, as well as a 180 degree door viewer to check who is calling. A door opening limiter ( door security chain ) and hinge bolts on outward opening doors is also a good idea.
External security lighting that switches on after dark when someone is nearby or walking past, illuminates the area. And brings to your attention that someone is or maybe is outside that could be a possible intruder.
A burglar alarm acts in 2 ways - it deters intruders, and detects the opening of a window or door. Some alarm systems, in fact most modern alarm systems, link up to a mobile phone number letting the owner of the property know if their alarm has been set off.
Insure your valuable items
Get your expensive jewellery valued every 2 years.
Ensure you tell your home insurer about any items of jewellery that are of particularly high value, and retain the valuation certificates and receipts.
Always avoid leaving valuable jewellery in conspicuous places such as on Window sills, or in clear sight of windows as this may prove too tempting for the opportunistic burglar
Keep all your valuables in a safe or locked cabinet and always avoid so called 'safe' places like under the bed or in the bedside drawers - as these are the first places burglars look.
Take photographs of your valuable items
Sadly, your home is not the only place that burglars and thieves show an interest in. The shed or garage is another, sometimes easier and overlooked target.
Simple tips such as locking sheds and putting expensive equipment away in secure locations after use is essential. As if anything of value is left in 'clear sight', then the burglar may think your home is an easy target. So the harder you make it, the harder it is for the burglar. As items typically stolen of value are bikes and power tools to name just a few. Ideally, as the Summer ends it is a good idea to ensure your shed has no damage that could make access easier and that all access points such as windows and doors are fitted with a strong shackle padlock and to the windows fit mesh to the window.
Additional security measures such as ensuring your fencing and gates are all in good working order and installing security lighting around your property can also be a good deterrent. And if you have gravel on any driveway, this can be heard and again another good deterrent.
Good tips to ensure your shed is as secure as possible are as follows:
Keep your shed in good condition.
Fit a strong closed shackle padlock to the shed door.
Fit grilles or mesh to any windows.
Lock away all valuable tools and especially ladders.