Enjoying the summer? We all love a bit of sunshine but sadly, summer also brings with it a greater risk of falling victim to an opportunist burglar. Unfortunately nicer weather can make us less vigilant and lead us to behaviour that can compromise the security of our homes.
Remember also that your insurance could potentially be invalidated if you don’t take reasonable measures to keep your home secure. With that in mind, we have put together our best tips for summer home security:
1. Secure windows
If you open your windows to let some fresh air in make sure that you close any ground floor windows at night. Even upstairs windows should ideally have a restrictor that prevents them being fully opened. Close all windows when you vacate the property. Windows at the rear are especially vulnerable.
2. Lock doors
Sometimes we don’t always keep our doors locked when we’re at home but be aware, if you’re in the garden you may not hear someone sneaking in the front door. It can take just a few minutes to sneak in and take something – including keys, which they could use later to gain access when the property is empty or when you’re asleep. If keys do go missing we would always advise you to get your locks changed as quickly as possible.
3. Don’t leave valuables on display
Not only are you showing would-be burglars what you have, it doesn’t always require full entry into your home for someone to take your things; sometimes items, especially smaller items like phones or car keys, can be reached or hooked through open windows.
4. Don’t leave items in the garden
Gardens are rarely secure areas so don’t leave bikes, expensive toys or gardening equipment out. We hear all the time about people leaving phones or iPads on garden tables while they quickly pop into the house, only to find them gone when they return. Think about how items can be used as well as how attractive they are to steal: things like barbeque utensils or gardening implements can be used to break into your home or out buildings. Wheeled barbeques can also be positioned next to your home and climbed on to access upper floor windows.
5. Don’t advertise your holiday
Try not to make it obvious that you’re away. The classic one is posting about it on social networks so try not to do that (even if your privacy settings are high). If someone can come in to turn lights on, open curtains, move post etc that can be helpful or why not ask a neighbour to park on your drive from time to time? Make sure you set your alarm before you go and if it’s been a while since its last service (more than 12 months) getting one done could be a good idea
As well as these general precautions that anyone can take, a burglar alarm is one of your best defences against a break in. If you have one, make sure you use it where appropriate (it’s amazing how many people have an alarm but don’t bother to turn it on or find out how to zone it so they can set it at night). If you don’t then you may want to consider having one installed.
Returning from a lovely holiday to a break in can be devastating so make sure you protect yourself. If you would like further advice on how to make your home secure or information about alarms or CCTV then give us a call on 01924 371941 and we’d be happy to help.