National Home Safety Month – October 15
Crime increases when the clocks get put back. Winter is a peak time for burglaries with longer nights providing cover.
It not only pays to be prepared, but as the nights draw in, make sure you scrutinise your home as a burglar would. The peace of mind is worth the extra effort of ensuring your house is secure.
It is not just about having the right security measures in place – it is also about using them. Failure to do so not only provides easy pickings for opportunistic criminals, it also means home insurance policies could be invalidated.
Now is the ideal time to ensure security measures are in place.
– 63% increase in burglaries during winter months.
– 26% increase on Halloween and Bonfire nights.
– Most burglaries take place between 4 – 7pm on dark winter evenings.
– In 57% of cases someone is at home while burglary committed.
– The risk of burglary is twice as high in urban areas than in rural areas.
– Typically burglars spend 60 seconds breaking into a home with 73% of cases gaining entry through the front door.
– The value of burglaries have risen by more than 40% in the last 3 years due to the increase in laptops, tablets and smartphone. 37% of people leave these valuable gadgets in places easily accessible by burglars.
Goods commonly stolen
Computers – 34%
Money – 34%
Electrical – 30%
Jewellery – 24%
Mobiles – 17%
- 12 million consumers feel a burglar alarm is a deterrent.
– A home without an alarm is 2 – 3 times more likely to be burgled.
– 85% of police officials surveyed believe alarms deter burglars.
– 60% of burglaries on homes with a security system installed failed.
– Burglars bypass houses that require effort.
Most common home security mistakes
– 1 in 5 Brits admit to leaving their door unlocked when they leave the house.
– 94% of homeowners leave windows open.
– 52% of homeowners hide keys by doorways.
– 78% leave valuables in easy view of passers-by.
– Posting your whereabouts on social media effectively advertises your absence to potential burglars.
– Keys left in the door, allows for burglars to fish through the letterbox.
– Valuables stored in obvious places, for example under the bed.
– Letters and bills simply discarded leads to identity theft.
Ways to secure your property
– Timer switches on lights are a good deterrent. It makes it appear that someone is home even if you’re not.
– Small indications of security consciousness could be enough for a burglar to pass your house and try another. For example, if your gate is closed you are likely to be more vigilant if your gate is wide open and you only have one lock on your door, it looks like you are a bit lax on security. If your front entrance gives this impression, it is likely that the back of your home is even less secure.
– Pets are unlikely to put people off, it more likely means that home alarms have not been set. Cat flaps also weaken the structure of doors.
– Calendars in homes give burglars an indication of when the house will be empty, with appointments and holidays written with exact dates and times. Try to place these in less obvious places, particularly not on view from outside.
– Don’t skimp on an alarm system, buy from a reputable company. Burglars will be able to identify a cheaper, less reliable system. Bell boxes act as a deterrent, security cameras even more so.
– 60% of burglaries fail on homes with alarms, yet 71% of homes in the UK do not have an alarm fitted.
– Make side gates more difficult to climb by not having a handle someone could stand on to get over, or add trellis to the top.
– Make sure seeing into your house is obscured by curtains or blinds, but it is a good idea to keep window locks visible to show they are secure.
– Make your letterbox more difficult to see or reach through.
Imagine you were locked out, how would you get in?
Prevent burglars from doing the same.