Keep your home secure as burglaries set to increase post-lockdown

With lockdown slowly easing, leading insurance firms* and Neighbourhood Watch are calling on homeowners to ‘protect what’s precious.’

Stay alert during the summer, as burglars try to make up for lost time.

Says Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal Fire & Security: “During lockdown, crime figures unsurprisingly dropped as we were told to stay home. However, now as more people go out to work, meet friends and try to maximise the summer holidays, burglaries are likely to rise as criminals try to take advantage of increasingly empty homes.”

Jamie added: “We should also be aware of fraudsters who are using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to callously exploit people. We need to be alert at all times, for ourselves and our communities, to ensure we can all enjoy this summer holiday.”

Here are eight simple tips from Amthal Fire & Security, to ensure you are doing all you can to ensure your home and possessions are safe and secure.

Keep them out of view
Make sure all valuables and keys, including car keys, are out of sight and away from the view of windows and the letterbox – remember a device could be used to hook keys through the letterbox.

Lock Them Up!
Although it’s tempting to keep cool, leaving all windows, doors and patio doors open in the summer can give burglars the perfect opportunity. If you are upstairs, out of the room, or in the garden, even just for a few minutes, keep them locked and help shut burglars out.

Be Alert
Did you know, 58% of burglaries happen whilst someone is at home? Pay particular attention when you’re outside in your garden, as you may not be able to see or hear someone entering your home.

Tidy Up
Ensure sheds, garages and outbuildings are locked and secure at all times – tidy away ladders, power tools and garden equipment after you’ve used them, don’t leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home.

Secure Your Bikes
With the Government actively encouraging us all to consider cycling more as an alternative to public transport, bikes are in great demand. To ensure you keep yours safe, secure them by locking them to an immovable object inside a locked shed or garage. Make them as difficult as possible to take.

Window Access
Think like a burglar and take a good look at your windows from the outside and remove potential access points where you can. Are there walls, bins or garden furniture that could be used to reach windows?

Leave nowhere to hide
Burglars don’t want to be seen or heard and if they think they’ll be noticed by a neighbour or passer-by, they’ll probably move on. Cut back hedges at the front of your property to allow for a clear view over the top and don’t provide cover for anyone wishing to hide and make sure your security lights are working. Make sure fences are in good condition, especially at the rear. Make sure gates are kept locked too.

Think Smart
Smart security options include video doorbells, increasingly relied upon by Police and Neighbourhood Watch to keep communities safe. Similarly, door entry integrations with Amazon Alexa allow voice control and homeowners to exactly know who is at the front door before its answered, (even when not at home!)

Smart alarms, lighting and CCTV additionally help to keep the entire home site safe and secure and can often be monitored on compatible mobiles at any time or location. Especially useful if you’re planning a holiday.

Amthal encourages homeowners to join Neighbourhood Watch’s campaign, ‘Safety in Neighbours‘ and keep a look out for unusual behaviour in their own communities.

Amthal is also supporting the UK Finance ‘Take Five To Stop Fraud’ campaign to encourage everyone to remain vigilant and to ‘stop, challenge and protect’ when they receive messages out of the blue.

Jamie concludes: “The level fraudsters have gone to exploit the pandemic situation is frankly quite frightening, impersonating trusted organisations like our amazing NHS or HMRC to trick vulnerable individuals into giving away money or information.

“We are working with Police Forces and supporting initiatives such as ‘Take Five to Stop Fraud’ to ensure we can help, but also in doing so we urge everyone to be alert and look to themselves and others to ‘protect what’s precious.’

*First published 24 July 2020, ‘This is Money’ “Return of the burglars: With lockdown easing, experts warn thefts will rise.”