It’s a common misconception that things like burglaries and break-ins only happen to other people. We convince ourselves that it’s not going to happen to us, and that there’s no real risk. But, did you know that there is a residential burglary every 40 seconds in the UK? And, with the dark nights and celebrations on their way, becoming a victim of household crime is even more of a threat.
Over the Christmas holidays you are likely to be out of the house for longer periods of time, whether enjoying the festivities or doing a spot of shopping, and though it is very easy to get caught up in the merriment, this is a very wise time to spare a thought for home security. So, here are our top 10 tips on staying safe over the winter period (in no particular order):
1) Lock up.
This one may sound obvious, but locking your windows and doors is your fist form of defense against an intruder. You should ensure all points of entry have at least one secure lock, and that it gets used; even if you’re in the house. Thieves are lazy opportunists, so if your home looks like its properly secured then the criminal is less likely to target it.
2) Use a timer on your lights and radio when you are out of the house.
At this time of year, thieves know that you are out of the house more frequently, and will be keeping a look out for any opportunity to steal, especially at night! A good way to combat this is to fit a timer to your lights and radio; this will create the illusion that there are people in the house.
3)Protect your glass.
Putting a protective, clear film over your windows will make them considerably more difficult to smash, meaning that any potential criminal would have to spend longer breaking into your property. Studies have shown that a burglar doesn’t want to spend more than a couple of minutes on forcing their entry, which means that they are less likely to continue the break in if they come into difficulty.
4) Fit a visible external alarm.
A visible alarm, even if it is just a dummy, acts as a very effective deterrent against burglars. It shows off very clearly that your home is fitted with security devices, and that it would be a hassle to burglarise.
5) Keep valuables out of sight.
Don’t leave any keys or other valuables near doors or windows. Thieves have adopted a method called ‘fishing’ in which they take your belongings without even having to enter your home, simply by using things like hooks and nets. Ensure that anything valuable is not visible through your windows or doors.
6)Dispose of packaging carefully.
When you dispose of packaging, if not done carefully, it can act as an advertisement for the contents of your home. This is particularly important after festivities, when thieves will be on the lookout for this type of marker.
7) Don’t answer the door to strangers.
You should always check who is at the door before opening it. If you do not know the person, or you weren’t expecting them, don’t open up! They may try to talk their way into your home to pilfer your belongings.
8) Establish a bed-time security routine.
Get into the habit of completing a full security check before going to bed. This should include ensuring that all doors and windows are locked, that valuables are put away, and that your alarm(s) are enabled.
9) Keep your grounds clear.
If you’re going away at any point in the year, it is a good idea to ensure that your grounds are kept neat. By this, we mean that you should arrange for your grass to be cut, or for your drive to be cleared of snow. Neglecting to do this would make it clear to thieves that you are away from home.
10) Get rid of the ‘hidden key’.
A lot of households keep a spare key ‘hidden’ under a plant pot or under the doormat, usually as a fall-back for if their primary key is forgotten or lose. The problem with this, however, is that criminals are wise to it, and know exactly where to look. So, we recommend that if you feel that you must keep a spare key somewhere, you keep it at the home of your nearest trusted relative (if possible).
Tyneside security supply, fit and maintain CCTV systems in North Tyneside, as well as intruder alarms (burglar alarms), and fire alarms. The first step is to organise a survey with one of our security experts who will determine your exact requirements and create a bespoke security package. The alarm will then be fitted by one of our experienced and highly reliable engineers who will then look after your CCTV system for years to come.
Tyneside Security operates right across the North East of England including Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Northumberland.