Whilst the number of burglaries may be down for the majority thanks to the pandemic, the real test will come over the winter months, with darker nights and homeowners starting to venture out more regularly in the run up to the festive season.
Says Jamie Allam: “The pandemic has ensured we have all stayed home more regularly, during the day and night, giving burglars much less of an opportunity to strike. But as we all slowly return to normal, whether it’s back to the office by day, shopping or visiting friends at night, we need to ensure we don’t forget about home security. It only takes a slight lapse for an opportunist to take advantage.”
Amthal sets out its top tips to ensure your home isn’t an easy target for burglars this winter.
- Repeat Business
If you have been burgled before, you may be struck again. A burglar may still be watching, seeing if you replace all the items that were stolen and likely these replacements are better quality than the original. As they will know your property it’s a quick win. So, make sure in all your investments, you include at the very least a monitored intruder alarm, that can react quickly to unwelcome guests.
- Light Up Your Home
Turning on all exterior lights at night where possible. A house in the dark could appeal to a burglar as it looks like nobody is in the property, and there could be an assumption that the owner is asleep or not at home. Any dark or shadowed areas are also ideal for a burglar to try to approach and leave the house undetected, making security lights at the back and front of your home, essential in the new season.
- Keep Watch
The number of CCTV cameras and video doorbells being used in the home, increased significantly over lockdown, as we looked to secure home improvements such as garden office space. CCTVs linked to mobiles enable homeowners to keep check of home activity directly from an app when out and about, and also set up motions and alerts.
Neighbourhood Watch and Local Police Forces are also now inviting homeowners to join watches together to keep communities safe, enabling them to see if any images have been captured that could help catch perpetrators.
- Seek Help
If you haven’t got to know your neighbours, now would be a great time. Making sure deliveries and bins are taken in, means there is no reason for a burglar to believe your home is vacant. If you are going away, try to keep activity, such as gates opening and closing or lights activated by a time switch to make it look like someone is home. Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to maintain any elements that could be an advertisement for burglars.
- Stay Alert
Prepare to leave quickly on any winter breaks and swiftly take your luggage to the car or waiting taxi. The longer you take to pack up and leave, the more chance a burglar has of seeing you and an empty property, giving them optimum time to plan their theft, and potentially tell other people too. Whilst away, try not to post on social media, as burglars will be monitoring activity to see which homes are vacant. Keep your holidays snaps until you are safely home to upload and show.
Jamie concluded: “We’ve had a tough couple of years, and as we look forward to the festive season potentially without any restrictions, don’t let a burglar ruin your plans this winter. Simple security measures can make all the difference to keep our homes safe, enabling us stay alert and in control of our home activity, and protect what’s precious.”