Every year there are over 1 million burglaries and attempted burglaries in the UK which equates to a burglary every 40 seconds! As we approach winter, burglaries increase by a fifth, partly thanks to the increased darkness. Through October, as the nights get darker and we celebrate occasions such as Halloween, household thefts increase by 5%. Burglaries then peak in November; Bonfire night being the worst night of the whole year for burglary with claims up by 22%. Thieves do take a day off on Christmas day and boxing day, with these days being the day you are least likely to be burgled* These are scary statistics so we have put together our top 10 tips to help you protect your home this winter.
1. Lighting control system
A dark home is inviting to a burglar as they can sneak in and out with less chance of being seen. The nights get dark as early as 4pm through the winter, a time when a household is likely to still be outside of the home at work or school. So investing in a lighting control system can be a fantastic way to make your home less appealing to a burglar as there is not only more chance of them being seen but also tricking them into thinking you are at home.
2. Security alarm system
Anything that acts as a deterrent decreases the likelihood of intruders trying to break into your home. A home security system can prevent somebody even attempting a break in but also make them leave once an alarm is raised or at least hurry to reduce the damage of the burglary. A good home security system can use perimeter protection and pre-entry detection which can prevent a break-in before it’s even happened. TIP: Also remember to highlight that you have a home security system. Use stickers on your windows to show you have a system in place to make a potential burglar think twice. Read more about our security systems.
3. Light entry to the property
Most burglaries happen after dark, 32% in the evening and 23% during the night. We have already discussed the importance of a lighting control system in your home during the winter, but what about the areas surrounding your home? A well-lit property gives a potential burglar less places to hide as they approach your property and makes it easy for passer-by’s to see anyone suspicious hanging around outside. Investing in a motion sensor light is a great way to increase your home security at night and in the winter months when the darkness starts early. A burglar approaching your home will often by startled by the sudden light and it also gives you an opportunity to see who is approaching the property if you are in at the time.
4. Keep front garden tidy
An untrimmed hedge, stack of rubbish bags or unused garden furniture littered around the garden all give a potential burglar a place to hide from sight as people walk past your property. Try to keep your front and back garden tidy to avoid giving somebody a route to sneak up to your property without being seen.
5. Lock your windows and doors
We conducted research earlier this year and was surprised to discover that over half of the 1,000 UK homeowners we questioned admitted they can’t always remember locking their home when they go out. Always remember to lock your windows and doors to prevent giving a potential burglar an easy way in. If you are staying in for the rest of the evening, lock the door as soon as possible to make sure you don’t forget as you get tired.
6. Invest in a CCTV system
A CCTV system is a fantastic deterrent and prevents 67% of UK burglars from targeting a property. It can also be used as a way to prosecute an offender in the unfortunate event you do get burgled. To make the most of your CCTV system, have it focused on the main areas of entry such as the front and back door and by the side of the property where people can get in unnoticed. Also put stickers in your windows to inform people you have a CCTV system and it is monitoring around your property at all times.
7. Get a dog
A dog isn’t just for love, affection and company, a dog can also be great to improve your home security. In our home security survey last year, almost one in ten of respondents (9.1%) bought a dog as a result of being burgled. A dog can make you feel safe and act as a deterrent to a potential burglar.
8. Stop hiding keys
Don’t hide keys outside of your home, under the door mat or a plant pot so a relative, cleaner or tradesman can access the property while you are out. Burglars know people do this and will search these typical places to see if somebody has left out a key, instead give the person who needs to access your property a spare key or give a key to a trusted neighbour who can give access to the person and lock up and keep the key when they are ready to leave.
9. Get yourself a SmartLock
In fact, you could forget about keys altogether. We've teamed up with the Britain's most trusted lock supplier, Yale, to bring you our most advanced door yet. SmartLock is totally keyless and lets you open your door through a variety of different methods so there's no more hiding spare keys under door mats or plant pots. Find out more about SmartLock.
10. Secure your shed
Making sure your shed is secure is important to help prevent your shed getting broken into of course, but it’s also important as a shed often contains lots of tools which can assist a burglar. If your shed isn’t secure a burglar could use your own tools against you to get access to your home. Invest in a good padlock for your shed and ensure there are no gaps which could be used to break open the shed.
Also check how secure your windows and doors are… how old are they? Do they meet the current Secured by Design specification? Do they have any weak points? Find out how to know how secure your windows and doors are.
Using these tips you can greatly improve the security of your home.
Read more of our security tips and tricks below.
1. Home security tips
2. Summer security tips
3. National home security month
*Telegraph - Days of the year most prone to burglaries