Be Aware! Winter Is Coming
From the Summer Solstice between June the 20th and 22nd, the daylight hours of each day become progressively shorter. What this means for homeowners is that the number of hours of darkness during which their homes are exposed to the risk of theft and burglary increases.
Statistics Don’t Lie
It is no surprise that the Police generate statistics for a crime committed in the UK. Another vital source of information is the Crime Survey for England and Wales, which produces annual estimates. What these demonstrate is that the highest number of burglaries are often committed during the hours of darkness. 32% of burglaries are committed during the evening and 23% during the night. In other words, over 50% of all burglaries are committed during the hours of darkness.
Preventive Measures As Daylight Hours Get Shorter
Homeowners can take a number of steps to increase security in their homes as the daylight hours get shorter:
- Adjust timers for external lights so that they come on before it gets dark
- Lock up earlier; secure deadlocks, bolts and other security devices before darkness falls
- Lock gates after entering, especially if sure they will not be opened again that evening
- Close windows in unoccupied rooms
- Leave lights on around the house; this gives the impression that it is occupied by more than one person and also banishes shadows around the perimeter of the property
- Leave lights on when out; timers can be used to turn them on
- Do the same with a radio
- Locks gates after exiting
How Secure Is Your Home?
Homeowners are very well advised to review their current home security arrangements before the long dark hours of autumn and winter set in. Current devices such as window and door locks, external security lights and any security systems such as burglar alarms, motion sensors, CCTV cameras etc should be thoroughly checked and tested.
Where there are faults in and security devices, specialist professional help should be sought to carry out repairs and where necessary replacement as soon as possible. This may seem a daunting prospect for homeowners, but insurance companies will be reluctant to pay out on claims after a burglary if security was not up to levels required or found to be faulty.
Tips To Improve Home Security
Security measures around the home can always be improved. Some suggestions are:
- Add CCTV cameras to an existing system or augment existing ones with more
- Use ‘dummy’ CCTV cameras that match real ones to create an impression of greater overall coverage
- Keep hedges trimmed so that they do not provide cover for burglars
- Keep fencing in good repair
- Ensure gates are locked (it isn’t much bothering to carry keys to them with door keys)
- Don’t leave valuable items on display in windows
Becoming Security Conscious
One of the key solutions to ensure your home security is as effective as possible is by developing the mindset necessary. Becoming ‘security-conscious’ doesn’t mean becoming paranoid. Much of it is simply common sense. For example, many people would leave the house to go to their car on the drive or garage and leave the front door open or on the latch, even during the hours of darkness. Once developed, the habit of picking up keys and locking the door after exiting, even for minutes, can soon become second nature.
Burglars often watch their potential victims before committing the offence. Being aware that even during the dark hours’ someone might be watching can help develop practices for everyday life to improve your overall security awareness. For example, routine tasks such as taking rubbish bins out; is this done during light or dark hours, and is the front door locked while this task is performed?
Some people have good external lighting, but don’t use it because it is not second nature going to the relevant switches or don’t think it is necessary whilst popping outside for a few minutes. Lighting banishes shadows in which criminals can hide and these benefits neighbours as well.
Sadly, burglary is still very prevalent in our society, and the hours of darkness are when most burglaries are committed. Being aware of this and taking every step possible to make it difficult for criminal activity to take place can only pay dividends in the long term. If the expert team at Assegai Security can help in any way, please do not hesitate to call via 01908 596 519 or send us a question from our online contact form.