Winter is here and we’re expecting a spike in burglaries now the nights are really closing in on us – each year there is a rise of around one third in the burglary rate when the nights draw in. If you haven’t already got security lights outside your property now would be a good time to get that sorted. Motion sensor lights are a deterrent to burglars that don’t want to be seen –they like the darkness as it provides cover and when this is broken by a bright light they’re on edge as they can be seen and they may be caught in the act. Outdoor lights are also great for the safety of your family, as they provide light in areas that could be a trip hazard in the dark.
As the nights draw in and the lights go on in the house everything you do is visible to those outside, so ensure you close curtains when you turn lights on so that you retain your privacy and don’t inadvertently advertise your belongings to burglars looking for a good target. Net curtains provide some degree of privacy in these situations but they’re not to everyone’s taste; so if you don’t want to go down that route make sure you close your curtains when it’s dark outside. By the same token, curtains left drawn all day can make a house look unoccupied, so do make sure you open at least your downstairs curtains during the day (unless you’re hiding a new TV from prying eyes, of course).
Lights on in a house are a huge deterrent for burglars, as it is a sure sign someone’s at home. Using a smart home system, where you can control your lights from your phone, is one way of achieving this but timer switches can be used on lamps to make your house appear occupied. This also means you don’t come back to a dark house, if you’ve been out and that makes people feel a lot safer.
When you do go out ensure your burglar alarm is set, so that if a break in is attempted the alarm will scare the intruders off. It’s also advisable to have a monitored alarm system which can alert the police to a break in in progress, allowing for a fast response which will ideally catch the criminals in the act. Having a monitored response service also gets the word out that your home is well protected, ensuring it is no longer a target for the criminal fraternity in your area. This can help keep your whole neighbourhood safer – even better if you have a neighbourhood watch scheme where everyone is on alert for suspicious behaviour.
Finally, this tip isn’t specific for the autumn and winter seasons, but a vehicle parked on a drive or outside a house is one of the best deterrents against burglars. Vehicles parked outside make a house look occupied, whether there’s actually someone home or not and it’s often enough to put off potential thieves so they don’t investigate any further to find out for sure. If you don’t have a second vehicle consider allowing a neighbour to park on your drive, or offering the space to a friend with a spare vehicle to take advantage of this no-effort deterrent.