Beating the burglars this Winter!
The clocks have gone back, festive gifts are appearing in the shops and suddenly the temperature has dropped - yes we're at that time of year where it feels like Winter is coming in quick!
Each year when this happens there is a spike in the number of burglaries due to less daylight hours, in fact statistics show a 20% increase in home burglaries during the darker months. On top of that as Christmas approaches people leave their homes empty frequently for shopping trips and social events, and burglars are aware of the likelihood of them having brand new high-value items worth stealing inside.
So here are a few tips from us on getting your home security ready for Winter, so that you can relax and enjoy all of the good things related to the season - bring on the Christmas pudding!
Keep doors & windows secure
It's so important at this time of year to get the basics right and properly secure the access points of your home. External timber doors should be secured using a lock that meets the British Standard BS3621 - the height of door lock security and also an essential requirement of many home insurance policies. If your doors are uPVC or composite with multipoint locks the cylinders should meet the British Standard TS007.
When it comes to your windows these should all be fitted with at least one lock. Just don't be tempted into thinking that the presence of the lock alone will deter a burglar - you need to physically lock these windows when you leave the house in order to reduce the likelihood of a successful break in, and also in many cases to ensure you meet your insurance requirements.
Keep festive gifts and valuables out of sight
Hiding your valuables is especially important during this season; firstly if your lights are on it's so much easier for a burglar to have a sneak peak in when it's dark outside, and secondly because you're likely to have a stash of pre-wrapped gifts somewhere in the house in the run up to Christmas. Our advice is to hide valuables, keep curtains and blinds closed when it gets dark and to wait until Christmas Eve to put the presents under the tree - if not you're running the risk of gifting an observant burglar rather than your family and friends.
Don't forget about your house & car keys
One of the reasons we advise people not to leave keys in plain sight is because it is common for burglars to put a long stick with a hook through the letterbox in order to try and steal them. This is one of the ways that they can enter your house and even steal your car whilst not having to break a thing! To prevent burglaries like this you should always hide your keys but there is also the option of having an internal cage put on the letterbox to stop a burglar being able to get access through it.
Improve security for when you're inside too
Keeping your home secure is not all about when the property is empty. With so many visitors coming by and Christmas carollers going house to house it's a good idea to add a security chain to the door, so that you can open it without the risk of it being kicked or pushed in. In addition adding a door viewer is cost-effective and offers you a sneak peak at who's calling by.
Ask your local locksmith for advice
If you're concerned about the possibility of a break-in this Winter, need to upgrade your locks or just want to make sure your home is as secure as possible, we would recommend asking a local locksmith you trust to carry out a security survey on your house. Doing this can this highlight any major vulnerabilities and provide you with great advice and solutions on getting your home more secure.
As professional locksmiths we've been helping customers across Yorkshire to reduce the likelihood of a burglary for over 20 years - call us on 01302 378067 to see how we can help you.