Protect your castle from raiders this winter with our home security tips…
Everyone’s home is their castle, which is why we have put together the following home security tips to ensure you are taking precautions to keep your home safe and secure this winter.
During the winter period your home can be seen to more vulnerable by an intruder, especially in the lead up to Christmas when you are more than likely to have unopened items of high value. According to the Daily Mail and home insurance provider LV=, November is the month you’re most likely to be burgled, with break-ins occurring an estimated every two minutes. Although the risk of burglary does differ according to the type of property and level of security that is already in place it is worth taking the necessary pre cautions in order to best protect yourself and your home from a break-in.
Burglary is largely an opportunistic crime, many home insurers will advise taking certain security steps to insure your home isn’t ‘easy pickings’ as according to HomeInsuranceGuide.co.uk, “burglars are looking for a home that gives them the easiest way of committing their crime undetected, with the fewest obstacles to negotiate.” The majority of burglars will not even use force to gain entry to a property (HomeInsuranceGuide.co.uk) in fact 73% of burglars use doors to gain entry and in 3% of cases the door was open (Tesco Compare).
- Don’t give a raider a leg up. Store all bins and ladders away from your home. These could be used by an intruder to access 1st floor windows.
- Keep your gold safe! Never leave any valuables where they can easily be seen.
- Keep out any unwanted guests. It is always a good idea to have a spy hole or door chain fitted as additional security.
- Darker nights are coming. It can be a good idea to leave a light on or on a timer, especially during the darker evenings and if you are spending a night or week away from your home! Leaving a television or radio on is also a good alternative to leaving the lights on. Security products such as a light with a timer can be purchased online.
- Put your ravens on hold! If you are going to be away for a long period of time ask the Royal Mail to hold your mail with their ‘Keepsafe™’ service – they will do this for up to 2 months. It is recommended to ask the Royal Mail to hold your letters as this avoids a pile up of post inside the front door which could be an invitation for an intruder as they will be able to see you’re away.
- Join the nights watch. We recommend that you either join or start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. “The Neighbourhood Watch works to bring neighbours together who want to look out for each other, creating strong, friendly, active communities where crime and antisocial behavior are less likely to happen.” To find your local Neighbourhood Watch, or for information on how to start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, please visit the Neighbourhood Watch website. Alternatively if you don’t have a Neighbourhood Watch in your area and are going away for any period of time, inform a trusted neighbour that you are doing so, so they can keep an eye on your property.
- Store all sets of keys to your castle away from your portcullis! Whatever time of year it is, it’s always a good idea to have a key hook fitted internally away from the front door or have a key safe fitted externally to your property. A letterbox cage/guard is also recommended as intruders will often use the letterbox to retrieve keys stored inside the house; this type of theft is referred to as ‘Key Fishing’.
- Keep your fortress well lit. Make sure you have lights with sensors in the garden and front of your property, this will help to deter an intruder as they are more confident when working in the dark.
- Brand your valuables. Use a UV pen to mark any valuables so if the worse does happen it may help to make recovery easier.
- Check all locks to your castle. Check the locks on all doors interior and exterior to your home, including gates or sheds and upgrade/replace if necessary. Make sure anything that can be used by an intruder to gain entry to your property, i.e. garden tools, are safely locked away.
- Don’t forget to raise your drawbridge! When leaving your property always remember to lock any doors and windows. The majority of intruders will use an unlocked door or window to gain entry to a house.