At this time of year, home security is a big talking point.
The sad reality is that, when winter sets in and nights are at their darkest, domestic break-ins spike, as opportunist thieves take advantage of situations that are more in their favour!
In the run-up to Christmas and also for an extended period in the New Year, residential burglaries tend to increase.
Meanwhile, research has shown that over a quarter of homeowners don’t take any measures to protect their homes. Moreover, if you have been unfortunate enough to have experienced a break-in once, this is no guarantee that it won’t happen again.
According to the charity, Victim Support, nearly 100,000 burglaries occur at an address that has been previously broken into.
Statistics for the years between 2008 and 2013, provided by 25 police forces across England and Wales and released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that Northamptonshire had the highest repeat burglary rate. Nearly 30% of burglaries occurred in premises that had already been targeted at least twice before. Derbyshire and Gloucestershire also showed worryingly high numbers.
And, of course, if you own a home in cities such as Birmingham, Wolverhampton or Coventry, or elsewhere in the counties of Warwickshire and Leicestershire, you may well know of friends or neighbours who have been affected by this type of crime.
Victim Support Director, Karen Froggatt, said: “Thousands of homes are being blighted by burglaries. Getting burgled once can be devastating, but to be burgled multiple times is, understandably, extremely difficult for victims to recover from.”
If you have been the victim of a break-in or are simply feeling uneasy about such an event occurring, then it may well be time to start thinking about taking additional security measures to protect your property and possessions - especially at this festive time of year when nights are at their longest.
The good news is that there are a number of measures which you can take to keep safe during the dark winter months – as well as the rest of the year, too.
Here are a number of practical steps:
1.Make sure windows and doors are firmly shut and locked – particularly at night, or when the property is empty. This is especially the case if you have expensive items on display – such as at Christmas time when there may well be stacks of presents laid around the tree.
2.At night, even if the property is empty, leaving lights or a TV on, are ways of indicating that someone is at home.
3.Externally, make sure a car is parked on the driveway and, if possible, that it is moved from time to time to show someone is living in the property.
4.Pay attention to any perimeter fencing and gates to ensure that there aren’t any easy routes of entry.
5.Having a big, barking dog might be something worth considering. Burglars won’t want to be attacked by a protective pet!Or at least put a sign up, saying that there’s a vicious German Shepherd on the premises.
OK, you may say, I’ve done all these things, but I still don’t feel safe.
CCTV and Intruder Alarms
Technologically, you may not have a smart home, but you can definitely be smart when it comes to home security.
So it may be time to consider having an intruder alarm or CCTV installed. CCTV is one of the biggest deterrents for thieves. External lighting around your property that is activated by movement will have the effect of lighting up your home – like the proverbial Christmas tree. Burglars are not keen on being in the spotlight and are highly likely to avoid a home that is equipped with good external lighting and cameras.
In respect of burglar alarms, if a potential intruder is aware that there is one fitted to your home, he will be far more likely to attempt a break-in at a property that doesn’t have an alarm installed.
Whilst there is always a cost for upgrading to a home alarm system or CCTV, you might be surprised how cost effective today’s systems actually are. Our comprehensive product range can accommodate most budgets, so it’s worth having a good look to see what’s available. Ultimately, the aim is to provide you with affordable, round-the-clock protection. What price would you place on having that peace of mind?
Also, you have to consider the long term benefits that they can bring; they don’t just provide the strongest form of deterrent to burglars,
they can also add value to your property for years to come and reduce your insurance premiums.
Home security is especially topical at this time of year, when there are extended hours of darkness, plus the temptations for Christmas opportunist burglaries are at their greatest.
If you feel you could be doing more to protect your property this winter season, our highly experienced team at Justice Fire and Security can provide all the advice and in-depth assistance you require. For more information, call our main Switchboard on 0845 468 0927.