The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in. That means bonfires, jumpers and sadly, a rise in break-ins.
Long, dark evenings are ideal for opportunists. So make sure you stay safe, raise your home security during the winter months, and thwart the criminals who use the cover of darkness.
You’ve reset your clocks, check that your alarms are in good working order for the winter months ahead. The burglar alarm, the fire alarm, the smoke alarm all need to be checked regularly. CCTV systems for the home are becoming increasingly popular too.
Those with home insurance have the security of knowing they’re covered for financial loss. Some things though, with huge sentimental value, cannot be replaced and their loss can be heartbreaking.
Here’s some easy steps to keep your valuables safe this winter:
Spoil the Burglars’ Window Shopping
Keep valuables out of view, and make sure the crafty crims aren’t tempted.
Think about installing a safe, doesn’t have to be big and bulky. Use it to store very portable valuables like passports, credit cards, cash, cameras and jewellery.
And ALWAYS draw your curtains or blinds at dusk.
Ideally, before the lights go on. I watched an interview with an ex-burglar who was working as a security adviser. Thing is, most of us don’t think like burglars so may not realise – they go window shopping at dusk, strolling around neighbourhoods getting a good view of what people have in their homes!
Dusk is the best time for this, often the lights are on but the curtains or blinds are not yet closed. We just don’t realize that someone may well be browsing our home eyeing up what’s attractive for their sticky fingers.
Locks, locks, and more locks
Ground floor windows are attractive to criminals, they want an easy way in, windows can offer that. Make sure your downstairs windows, and any windows that can be accessed from a flat surface, like a porch or extension roof, are fitted with visible key-operated locks and are covered by your CCTV system.
Similarly with doors, triple lock ideally, top, bottom and middle. That way your door won’t have any ‘give’ if kicked.
Even while you’re at home, make sure windows and easy entrances are locked at all times.
And NEVER leave keys in the locks, doors or windows
Time and again huge burglaries are committed because the thieves are able to leave unnoticed, with so much stuff. Too often they can leave unchallenged via a main entrance, because the key has been left, helpfully, in the inside – and it just doesn’t look odd, someone walking out through the front door.
Outside deterrents – High walls, fences, railings, high trellises are all good. Burglars know these will slow them down when they’re trying to escape. They’re not fond of spikey, prickly hedges with plenty of thorns either.
Seeing thieves getting caught by these is great viewing when you check the CCTV!
Gravel too, is a good deterrent. The look on a burglar’s face when they realise they’ve just woken up the neighbourhood with crunchy footsteps is a sight to behold!!
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