10 ways to keep your home safe when the clocks go back
On Sunday 25th October everyone in the UK will turn their clocks back by just 1 hour. For some this means lighter mornings, for drivers it means more dangerous road conditions as we approach winter, and for children it means getting home after school before it gets dark. For burglars, however, the clocks going back means Christmas has come early. According to a recent survey the numbers of burglaries rockets in the five months following the clocks going back as opportunistic burglars seize the cover of early darkness to break into our homes.
To help you protect your home from this menace, here are Coversure Insurance’s top 10 ways to keep yourself home and valuables safe when the clocks go back:
1. Set Timers
There is no easier way to tell if a house is empty than there being no signs of life during the early evening. By setting timers on your plug-in lamps, TV or radio, you can easily make it look like you’re at home – even if you’re not.
2. Hide your valuables
Burglars are often opportunists and nothing is more likely to prompt a break-in than seeing a nice shiny valuable left unguarded. So before you go out make sure valuables that your valuables are put away and are out of sight. This includes things that you would otherwise have about your person – such as your tablet, mobile phone or your car keys.
3. Fit and Set your Burglar Alarm
Having an alarm and, more importantly, setting it when you go out is an important factor in keeping your home safe. Burglar alarms are inexpensive these days, with Wi-Fi kits available from around £100, and having one fitted can make a big difference to your home insurance premiums. If nothing else, seeing an alarm box on your wall is likely to deter would-be thieves from gaining entry to your property.
4. Lock Up
It (should!) go without saying that you should make sure you lock your windows and doors before you go out, but around 33 percent of intruders enter a home through the front door so it’s always wise to lock your door when you’re not around.
5. Talk to the Police
Local police forces are often happy to talk to homeowners and advise them on home security measures. Some forces may be willing to visit your property and provide you with a home security inspection. To find out more call 101 to talk to your local force.
6. Neighbourhood Watch
It’s a good idea to sign up to your local neighbourhood watch scheme if you have one. This means that your neighbours can help keep an eye on each other’s property and report anything suspicions. Coversure Top Tip: Displaying a ‘Neighbourhood Watch Scheme’ sticker in your window could make thieves think twice about targeting your property. Studies have shown a reduction in crime of up to 16% in areas with an active neighbourhood watch in place.
7. Improve your boundaries
Are your fences and hedges secure? Are there any gaps that a burglar could squeeze through undetected? It’s a good idea to keep your hedges trimmed regularly as they can sometimes provide cover and easy access for burglars.
8. Install security lights
A security light that detects movement and turns on when it does is often a really good way of deterring burglars. It’ll both light them up and alert you to their movement around your property.
9. Don’t post your location on social media
How better to see who’s not at home than to check social media? If you’ve ‘Checked-in’ at your local coffee shop with a few of your friends then the burglars know exactly where you are and can easily target your home.
10. Have comprehensive cover in place
We all hope the worst won’t happen but in case it does, make sure you have comprehensive home insurance in place. It won’t turn back time, and it certainly won’t lock your doors for you, but it will help to make sure that you don’t lose out financially should the worst come to the worst.