Throughout the summer months us Brits will be busy out and about enjoying the sunshine when it makes a rare appearance, taking the kids to the park and jetting off on the annual family summer holiday. However, this means that our homes are often left vacant and vulnerable. This comes at a time when statistics reveal that, last summer alone, there were a recorded 200,000 break-ins*, and outdoor thefts increased by 40 per cent**. This is a result of burglars ramping up activity, taking advantage of unoccupied homes and expensive items left out in the garden.
As a result, we’re giving you our top tips and advice for keeping your property security this summer.
• Ensure external timber doors are secured with a mortice lock and/or nightlatch that meet British Standard BS3621. If you have a PVCu or composite door, consider upgrading the cylinder to a British Standard, TS007 Kitemarked model.
• According to The Home Office, 56 per cent of burglaries take place during the evening, so be wary of leaving windows open on a warm night when you go to bed. Windows should be secured with at least one appropriate, key-operated lock.
• Protect smaller, more expensive valuables in a home safe that is securely bolted to the floor or wall.
• 60 per cent** of burglaries attempted on homes with alarms fail. Smart home alarms allow homeowners to remotely control devices via their smartphones, receiving notifications, emails and even images if the system is triggered while you’re away.
• Make it appear as though someone is home by leaving a car on the driveway or investing in security lighting.
• Don’t let post pile up at your door, signalling to thieves that no one is home. Take advantage of the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ scheme, where they will hold onto your letters and parcels for up to 66 days and deliver them once you’re safely home again.
• Consider a smart locks so you can check who has accessed your home remotely using a smartphone app. Some smart locks also have the added benefit of being able to let guests in using a temporary PIN code. This is ideal for granting short-term access to your parents or neighbours who can water the plants or check on the pets for you.
• Don’t ‘check in’ at holiday locations on social media or post photos as this will let potential criminals know you’re away. Take the time to check your settings or wait until you’re home to post online.
**Halifax Home Insurance