With winter just around the corner, so are darker nights. Statistics show that 60% of burglaries occur in the evening or night, meaning that as the nights grow longer it is even more crucial to keep on top of your home security. Take a look at our tips for improving your home security this winter:
1: Outside Lights. Burglars will use the cover of darkness to walk more freely around neighbourhoods and properties, as they are less likely to be noticed. The first thing you can do to combat this is by installing motion sensitive security lighting on your property. A bright light, potentially illuminating your entire garden, will help deter those who do not want to be seen. (Read our blog on Shed Security for a more in-depth discussion on garden security)
2: Gravel. If you have a large front garden, why not add a gravel path or driveway to stop sneaky burglars in their tracks. Gravel is a simple security measure that could help you catch any heavy-footed burglars out. This won’t fool some of the more sophisticated criminals, but getting into the habit of checking any time you hear movement outside could potentially save you from a break in.
3: Make Your Home Look Occupied. A common anti-theft technique is to leave lights on and draw the curtains to make it look like someone is in during the evening. There are even light timers and TV simulators that can help keep up the illusion of occupation if you’re out for an extended period of time. Therefore it is important to consider that the longer nights will bring more opportunities for burglars to catch you out. With sunsets happening as early as 4pm in December, if you are not home from work or school for several hours there is a big window of possibility for thieves on the look out for empty homes. Make sure your home looks as occupied as possible, maybe by being selective with which rooms you put on a light timer – perhaps an upstairs bedroom or back room instead of the front room because being out all day and leaving curtains closed can look equally suspicious. Even when you are in the house, remember to draw your curtains once it gets dark, as a brightly lit room enables potential thieves to see straight in to your home.
4: Keep Doors Locked. This tip belongs on every single one of our advice blogs and, to us, is the most important. In 72% of burglaries, the thief will enter through a door, and 15% of these will be because the door was unlocked. In darker months it is even more important to keep all doors locked as, if you are not using a room, it will typically be left in darkness to save electricity and an unlocked back door paired with a dark downstairs could make for a very easy burglary. In addition think about the quality of your door lock, is it British Standard approved? Could you add a door chain for extra security? Don’t be another statistic, keep it locked.
5: Be Vigilant. Dark nights make it harder to notice any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, so the more eyes you have watching the street the better. Though different areas will have different needs in terms of a neighbourhood community, it is definitely a good idea to get to know your neighbours- who their regular visitors are, who owns what car etc. That way, if you spot someone acting particularly suspicious you may be more inclined to report it, or at least inform your neighbour. It can also be a comfort to know that people nearby are looking over your home while you aren’t there.
6: Halloween and Bonfire Night. A shocking statistic has revealed that in the week of Halloween and Bonfire Night (30/10-5/11), the average UK burglary rate is 26% higher than any other week. Whether you are out of the home trick-or-treating, at local firework displays, or welcoming trick-or-treaters into your home throughout the night, leaving your doors unlocked is potentially putting your home at high risk from burglary. With a lot more people in your neighbourhood, there is a much bigger danger of intrusion; why not use a door chain and/or a peephole to check who the callers are before opening the door? Thieves are going to be more alert around these times because they know people are more likely to be out the house, more likely to leave a door unlocked. Don’t let a burglary ruin the festivities, keep it locked!
If you have any questions about your home security, give LockRite a call on 0800 0612 677 to arrange a full security survey.