As the clocks go back and darker mornings and nights commence, keeping your house safe from burglars is a must-have. Okay so we’re not saying that burglars are lurking around every corner waiting to pounce, but winter months bring a probability of burglaries as once it hits 4pm, darkness has invariably seized the day. With many still out and about whether it be at work, school or shopping, your house is an immediate target.
According to Co-op experts, thefts which are opportunistic or involve deception tend to happen during the summer months but during the winter, burglars are more likely to physically break in. It was estimated that there are 7.3million burglaries in the UK a year, so as the clocks go back, here is how to keep your home secure!
Here are 10 (obvious) tips to keep your home secure!
1. Ensure your doors and windows are locked at all times
2. Ensure sheds and garages are secure
3. Leave a light on when you are out; both inside and out
4. Install exterior security lights at the front and back of your property
5. Do not leave car keys or house keys in reach a letterbox
6. Do not leave valuables in sight
7. Set your burglar alarm and check it is working regularly
8. Invest in a CCTV system if possible
9. Ensure all garden tools and ladders are locked away
10. Do not post on social media when you’re out
Take a look at some of the most important factors to consider when securing your home:
Okay so we can’t compare having a house alarm to a house pet. But what a house pet immediately brings to the safety of your home is an awareness of an intruder. If you do have a pet, whether it is a dog or cat; don’t advertise that you own one in the window of your car or house as burglars will attempt to break in regardless as they will assume you haven’t put your house alarm on with them in the house.
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A pretty obvious precaution to take, but you would be amazed how many people forget to close the bathroom window, or the window above a conservatory (you think cannot be reached). Do not leave any valuables near a window and in view of a potential burglar. If you have recently installed double glazed windows or are planning to do so, bear in mind where the locks are; if they are visible and look secure, a burglar is likely to move on very quickly. Likewise don’t leave window keys in sight.
So windows and doors have very much the same protocol – don’t leave keys in direct view. Do not label them with your address or which room they open and if possible separate your car and house keys, so there is little risk of two break-ins. Many families have letterbox cages behind the door, preventing anyone from trying to reach through. When locking up the house, make sure all rooms are double locked, including conservatory doors as it counts as another door of the house and if unlocked, you may not be insured.
If you have a gate or door which leads to your back garden, always ensure this is firm shut and locked when not in use. You would be surprised by what burglars use to break into a home; garden tools are one of them! Do not leave them lying around as well as a ladder which can be used to access the top tiers of any property. Identity fraud is also extremely common nowadays, so when throwing away important letters into your bin which lives in your garden, ensure every single one has been shredded.
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In an age of digital technology and platforms to share absolutely anything and everything about your life, you would be surprised how easy it is to target houses through the use of social media. Try not to talk about owning the latest expensive gadget or car and never announce you’re going on holiday and leaving the house ‘empty’. Likewise, do not put a calendar up where it can be viewed from the street. It’s vital to stay street smart in your home too!
Feature image: Daniel Schweinert/Shutterstock