Written on November 24, 2016 in Security Tips & Advice

The clocks have now gone back and winter is well and truly upon us. As the festive season approaches, take a moment to check the security around your property, both on the inside and out. Those long dark nights provide cover for burglars, with a recent study from Co-Op Insurance suggesting claims for theft spike by 36% during the winter months. The study also revealed Friday as the day most likely to be burgled, with forced or violent entry more prevalent, in comparison to more opportunist thefts in the summer months.

Good security starts outside

Good security starts from the perimeter of the property – a fence and closed gate clearly defines the property boundary and prevents unwanted guests easily walking into the grounds. Although large trees and shrubs hiding the property might seem like a good idea, they actually provide a perfect hiding place for thieves. Keep the bushes and shrubs trimmed, and remember if your neighbours can see your property, they can report any usual activity.

Secure it inside the shedShed Security

Chances are the BBQ and patio furniture won’t be getting much use through the winter months, therefore store it out of sight in a secure shed. The shed itself can become a target for thieves, often storing upwards of £1,000 worth of goods inside. Add multiple locking to the door with a locking bolt and strong hasp & staple paired with a weather resistant padlock. Ground anchors, security cables and padlocks can lock stored items together making removal difficult should a thief get inside. A battery operated alarm is also a sensible addition, providing an early warning signal if security is compromised. Sterling offer a range of alarms and locks suitable for sheds & garages.

Let there be light

Lighting is one of the most effective ways of preventing thieves who prefer the dark shadows to a bright spotlight. Use a variety of lighting around the property, ensuring the dark covered areas are lit. Low power LED lighting with solar panels has made it easier than ever to install security lighting without the hassle of wiring them into the electricity supply and are well worth the investment.

Keep doors & windows locked

This might seem obvious, but over 64% of people admit to sometimes leaving their door unlocked when not inside the property. 37% confessed they didn’t lock the door when inside the home…even though 22% of burglaries occurred when the thief knew the house was occupied.

Upgrade the lock

Lock snapping is taking the nation by storm…and this isn’t a good thing. The lock cylinder inside many uPVC doors can be snapped in half by applying pressure to the cylinder. Once the cylinder is snapped it can be manipulated to throw the multi-locking points on the door. Snap safe cylinders have shear lines built into them that snap off in the event of attack whilst maintaining the security of the lock. Also consider a secondary locking solution such as a nightlatch or sash jammer to make entry via the door difficult for determined thieves.

Install and use the alarm

Thieves don’t like attention, so in the event your home security is compromised, make sure the surrounding area knows about it. Alarms are one of the most effective deterrents, statistics show that houses fitted with burglar alarms are 4 times less likely to be burgled than houses without. CCTV is becoming increasingly popular with home users, providing eyes inside and outside, even when you aren’t physically at the property. The cost of a CCTV system has fallen in recent years and both wired and wireless options give flexibility with installation.

Karat safe in the homeInstall a safe

A good quality safe provides the last line of defence against the most determined of thieves. Most burglars want to spend as little time in a property as possible, therefore a safes often poses too much of a challenge. In cases where safes are broken into, this is usually done at a later time off-site where the entire safe is stolen still locked. Needless to say, bolting your safe to a wall or floor is key to its security integrity. Certified safes approved by the Association of Insurance Surveyors (often referered to as Eurograde safes) are highly recommended as their security level, provided as a cash rating (from £4,000 to £100,000 plus) are recognised by household insurers. Be sure to call them for advice before purchasing. It is also worth considering safes that offer fire protection, keeping important documents such as passports, birth certificates and deeds safe should the worst happen. Burg-Wächter offer a comprehensive range of safes suitable for the home.

Sources of statistics: Home owners beware: 36% spike in home thefts when clocks go back | Interesting UK Burglary Statistics | Top burglar alarm myths