With longer darker nights, Winter is a peak time for burglaries…
You need to be especially vigilant over the Winter period, with research revealing that in 2016 and 2017, 42% of home insurance claims in relation to a burglary were made between October and January. Therefore, it is particularly important for you to ensure that your home is kept safe and secure at this time of year.
What do burglars look for?
One method for protecting your home involves getting into a burglar’s head. Ask yourself, how does a burglar decide which houses to target and what does a burglar look for prior to breaking into a house.
This may include:
- Unlocked doors and windows
- No lights on for prolonged periods
- Dark entrances to the house
- Valuables kept in plain sight
- A build-up of mail
- Posts about homeowners being away on holiday on social media
If you’re guilty of any of these things in your household, be sure to avoid doing so this Winter. Follow our top tips to help you keep your home secure.
Secure your doors and windows
Although this may seem like an obvious solution, many homeowners are careless with this basic security measure. Ensure that all doors and windows, including back doors and above-ground windows, are locked. This is particularly important at night or if the house is empty.
Additionally, make sure side gates are securely locked to prevent potential burglars from gaining access to the rear of your home where a break-in would be less obvious to passers-by.
Leaving lights on
If you’re away for the evening and don’t expect to return home until late at night, perhaps for a Christmas party with work, pull the curtains and leave a light on to make it look like someone is at home.
Alternatively, invest in a timer for your lights so that your lights turn on automatically in the evening when it starts to get darker. This is a particularly good idea if you’re away for extended time over the Christmas period.
Outside security lights
Make sure all door entrances to your home are well-lit. Well-lit areas outside your home will deter burglars as they want to stay hidden!
Motion-sensor lights are a great method for protecting your home. These lights turn on when anyone approaches your home which helps to keep burglars away.
These security lights are particularly effective if your home isn’t in a well-lit area with street lights.
For extra security, install a security or intruder alarm.
A visible security alarm is helpful to deter potential burglars and in the event of a burglary, it will alert you and your neighbours that someone has broken into your house.
Key safe installation
Hiding spare keys? Be street smart.
Whilst having a spare key is a good idea, you should refrain from hiding it in an obvious, unprotected place outside of your home. Hiding a key under a doormat, plant pots or bricks should definitely be avoided as burglars know where to look.
You should also avoid keeping keys near the letterbox inside your home or posting them back through the letterbox as burglars are able to access them.
Instead, leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour, friend or family member in case of emergencies or install a key safe. Our experts at Fort Locks can advise you on the best possible place to install a key safe at your house.
Keep valuables hidden
Burglaries tend to be opportunistic so you don’t want your home looking like a shop window display. Make sure your valuables and Christmas presents aren’t visible to any potential burglars as this may lure them in.
You may choose to store valuables such as expensive jewellery and your passports in a secure safe within your home too.
If you’re going away for Christmas and leaving your house unoccupied, make sure you liaise with a trusted neighbour, friend or family member. Ask them to keep an eye on your house and pick up any post if it starts to build up. A build-up of mail is an indication to burglars that you are away so this should be prevented if possible.
Top Tip: If you are away for the Christmas period, we recommend that you don’t head straight to social media to show off your holiday snaps. Publicly posting that no one is currently occupying your house is an invitation for burglars to enter. Hold off on the holiday posts until you’re back at home.
For all your home security needs to help minimise the risk of a burglary at your home this Christmas, find out more about the range of locksmith services we offer. From alarm systems to key safe installation, Fort Locks have you covered.