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Who’s afraid of the Dark? #NHSM17 Week 4

Keeping your outdoor areas secure once the dark nights come

The nights are drawing in, telling us that winter is on its way. Unfortunately, dark nights also bring with them peak season for burglars. Once the clocks go back at the end of October, burglaries spike by a huge 38%!

For week 4 of National Home Security Month (NHSM) we’re giving you advice about how to protect your outdoor space:

Security lighting

The most obvious solution to prevent intruders sneaking around your property is to install some security lighting. Motion sensor lighting will come on whenever they detect movement outside or dawn to dusk lighting will maintain a low level of light all night. Install them at strategic positions around your property to minimise dark corners.

Have a big garden tidy up

If you can, move anything that a burglar may be able to use out of the garden. Items that you use in the summer such as garden furniture, gardening equipment and barbeques can now be put away in garages and sheds as these can be used to help an intruder break in. If you don’t have space to do this, move them away from the house and/or weight them down so they can’t be easily moved.

If you have a summer house, bring any tech you may keep in there over the summer inside (eg TVs, sound systems etc). They often have big windows which can make them harder to secure.

A new development is the use of drones to see into gardens from above and scope out targets. Don’t think that just because you have a private garden that people can’t see what you’ve got in there!

Keep outbuildings locked

Often sheds and garages can be as attractive a target as your house because they’re unoccupied and can contain valuable items such as bikes and tools. We’d recommend getting a good lock on the doors, just as you would on your house. It’s also worth covering windows so that it’s not possible to see what you have inside. If you have very expensive bikes inside you could add further security by locking them up within the locked garage such as fixing them to a rack or fastening them to something heavy.

Alarm your outbuildings

It is possible to add your outbuildings on to your house alarm system as additional zones. You can even arm them independently, even when the house alarm isn’t turned on yet (eg when it’s dark outside but you haven’t gone to bed yet).

Secure the perimeter

Try and prevent people even getting into your garden by installing high fences and locks on gates. If the outer areas of the garden are secure, it not only makes it harder to get in but shows any intruder that you are security conscious and therefore likely to be further layers of security inside. They may well decide it’s not worth the bother trying.

Make it noisy

Burglars just want to sneak in quietly, do what they need to and sneak out again undetected. It makes it much harder for them if can’t enter without making a noise. Gravel drives and paths, wind chimes and chimes or bells on gates will all make a silent entry much more difficult.

Next week for NHSM17 we’ll be continuing the theme of security for dark nights but turn our attention to the house itself. You can see that from Monday 31st October.

Check out all our NHSM17 posts so far:

Making security child’s play – simplifying home security

Knock, knock who’s there? – taking care of the entry points of your home

Using your smarts – getting to grips with smart security