The long, dark nights of autumn and winter provide the ideal cover for burglars and vandals. Under the cloak of darkness, there are significant opportunities and more time for thieves to identify and target vulnerable properties. Homes are particularly vulnerable around Halloween and Bonfire Night when people are less vigilant about locking doors and less suspicious about the presence of strangers and loud noises.
According to research published by leading UK insurer, Aviva, the Halloween and Bonfire Night period in particular sees a huge spike in crime each year. In 2010:
- Bonfire Night was the worst day of the year for domestic burglaries with a 25% rise compared with an average day. Gold and jewellery are the main targets.
- There is a dramatic increase in car thefts, with 20% more claims than average on Bonfire Night. There are similar increases during Trick or Treating and a 19% increase on Halloween.
- There is a 150% increase in claims for malicious damage to the home on Halloween which is often caused by food such as eggs, flour and pumpkins. Cars are also hit, with a 45% increase in claims of damage.
Ensure you ramp up your security as you turn the clocks back
The ritual of putting the clocks back at the end of October is an ideal trigger for homeowners to carry out some simple home security checks. Here are a handful of tips that could mean the difference between you becoming a victim of burglary or the thieves simply walking on by:
- Establish a nightly routine of checking that all your doors and windows are locked, including those on your shed or outbuilding.
- Put your car in the garage if you have one.
- Lock away garden ornaments, tools, ladders and other items that could be used to cause damage or help thieves to break in.
- Make your home appear occupied when it’s not – timer switches which automatically turn on lights at a set time can be a worthwhile investment.
- Close your curtains and blinds so burglars can’t see your valuables.
- Install outside lights, but carefully consider where you site them. A poorly-positioned light can sometimes help rather than hinder thieves.
- Install a burglar alarm, or at the very least, an alarm box. Ensure your alarm is British standard approved.
- Consider putting a ‘Beware of the dog’ sign on your garden gate or fence to act as a deterrent. If you’re going on holiday, ask a neighbour to check on your home and hold on to your mail until your return.
Ensure you have the correct level of insurance protection
If you are unsure whether you have the correct level of insurance protection in place for your home, talk to the home insurance brokers at Hine.
Theft and malicious damage are covered as standard by most home and contents insurance policies. Our experienced brokers can work with you to check the detail of your current cover and ensure you’re protected against all eventualities. We can also offer advice on the steps to take if you do become a victim of crime, including reporting the incident to the police and your insurer as soon as possible.
Talk to the team today. Call Hine on 0161 438 0000