Home Care >  Rise in burglaries on bonfire night: How to secure your home

With the clocks going back this Sunday (27th October) and Halloween and Bonfire Night on the horizon, increasingly dark evenings make empty homes a prime target for burglars.  

Last year, Aviva revealed a 115% increase in home insurance claims for theft on Bonfire Night, with previous years presenting a similar trend.  Whilst many headed outdoors to enjoy the evening’s festivities, burglars took advantage of the unoccupied homes and often forgotten about security systems. In fact, research also discovered that 40% of UK residents don’t check if their windows are locked when leaving their homes, with 29% failing to check their doors.  

Whilst these figures are alarming, it is not just unlocked doors that cause an increase in burglaries at this time.  Research has shown that more violent or forceful break in occur during the winter months compared to the summer, when ‘opportunity’ acts as the main motivation for these crimes.  This is thanks to darker evenings providing burglars ample cover during a break in, with neighbours or passers by less likely to notice anything amiss. 

How to secure your home against burglary

Lock up

Always ensure you lock up your property, including any back doors or bathroom windows that can often be forgotten about.  Many home burglaries are opportunistic, so take advantage of these easy entry points. Garage doors and outdoor buildings (including sheds) should also be secured, as many break ins are facilitated by easy access to tools and ladders. 

 

Turn the lights on

Light and switch timers have been a popular product for many years when it comes to burglary deterrents, giving the impression of activity even whilst owners are away from their homes.   Now with the introduction of smart home tech, residents can control devices whilst out and about. With the touch of a button, users can turn on lights, respond to visitors and close blinds via their smartphones.  Not only do these activities simulate someone being at home, but signal to burglars that property is being monitored and any break in attempt would be detected. 

 

Ensure visibility

Whilst there’s no way to prevent the dark evenings of winter, enhancing the visibility around a property can act as a big deterrent for burglars.  This can include clearing away any obstructions around entry points, adding additional lighting and putting up CCTV or ‘prop’ cameras. All of these simple steps can make a property far less attractive to burglars and highlight the potential risks when breaking in. 

 

Keep possession out of sight

Whilst all homes contain high value items, having these possessions ‘out on show’ can make a property that much more attractive to potential burglars. This includes game consoles, sound systems and electronics, all of which are easy targets for fast fingered thieves. Therefore, these items should be kept tucked away and out of sight, especially if in the vicinity of windows or doors.  In addition, keys should also receive the same treatment, especially if your front door has a letter box that would allow burglars easy access. 

 

Prioritise cyber-security

Physical items are often the main focus when discussing burglary, but digital assets should not go unaddressed.  Especially with the rise of music and film stream services, many of us have hundreds of pounds worth of media download on our devices.  As a result, it is vital to use secure passwords and security systems on all phones, laptops and tablets. In addition, backing up any important documents is a great step to minimise any potential loss if the worst ever happens.  This can be done online or on physical devices, which can then be kept in a secure location.