Summer security standards – don’t let the heat get to you!

Finally, the weather has changed for the better and it seems like it’s here to stay for the summer (I do hope I haven’t spoken too soon!). It’s that time of year when people let their hair down and have fun in their gardens, at the beach or at a local park and it is common for people to overlook security arrangements when the smell of steak sizzling on the barbecue is so tempting. Spending more leisure time at home, or at a neighbour’s place can make people feel more secure as they are present more often, but the reality is that proximity does not equal security.

Opportunist thieves love this time of year because people are so wrapped up in enjoying the sunshine that things like closing windows or setting an intruder alarm are overlooked, leaving the door open, sometimes literally, for thieves to take advantage and steal what they can. Over the summer there is still the same risk to your valuables as at other times, but there is always a spike in thefts of garden equipment, lawn furniture and outdoor toys including bikes. This is because these items are often left outside unattended and it only takes a few seconds to load a lawnmower into a van. You may have gone inside for a cold drink only to return to your front lawn and find your mower has been stolen. It’s a great excuse for getting out of that chore, but a very costly one. It is important not to leave anything unattended in a front garden, and this goes for bikes too.

Store your gardening equipment in a garage or lockable shed overnight, and try to ensure that you have not inadvertently advertised your valuables to thieves by leaving them in plain sight at any time. A thief may see you own a top of the line mower or leaf blower and come back at night to steal it, so you can never be too careful with the storage of these items.

If you are spending the day in the back garden ensure that you have not left any windows open at the front of the property, and vice versa. It may mean you have to open the windows later in the day to let hot air out, but this is preferable to risking your valuables being stolen simply because you provided a thief with easy access. The same advice goes for the doors of your property, and if you have a gate on a side path this should also be secured so as not to provide an easy escape route.

While we can’t blame alcohol for everything, it does lower inhibitions and can make people forgetful, so it is important that an intruder alarm is still set even if you are only popping down the road to the shop, or going to a neighbour’s house for drinks. The best way to enjoy the summer is to be safe and secure and not to let an opportunist burglar ruin your precious leisure time.