With the cover of darkness to help cloak their movements, burglars will be looking to take advantage of the longer darker nights ahead.
With the clocks having gone back an hour and with the evenings growing darker, unwelcome visitors are more likely to return to the public’s doorsteps. It may therefore not come as a surprise that as the winter months approach it becomes open season for burglars, with research showing that burglaries surge by 38% once the clocks have gone back.
With opportunistic burglars using the darkness to help them hide in the shadows, it is important that families are vigilant and re-consider the security measures they have in place to protect their homes. As our home security systems have become more advanced, so have our burglars so it’s crucial that property owners use new technology to help compliment traditional security methods such as alarm systems and window locks.
To ensure family homes and neighbourhoods are kept safe this autumn and as an official sponsor of Home Security Month, Ring, the smart home security company, has compiled its top tips for protecting neighbourhoods through technology.
Lock all doors and windows
It sounds basic, but a surprising number of burglaries take place because people have forgotten to lock all the doors and windows. Some people even leave a few windows open for air flow whilst they’re out of the house. Leaving your doors and windows unlocked is an open invitation to burglars, so always double-check them before you leave and to be extra safe install a double lock on your front door.
Avoid hiding spare keys
Many homeowners still keep a spare set of keys somewhere in front of their house. This is a bad habit and a major security risk. Your key is never hidden as well as you think it is and experienced burglars will know all the common hiding places. If you have arranged for a neighbour or friend to check your post whilst you’re away, lending them a spare key is a far safer alternative. Burglars are also increasingly starting to use devices which can remotely access car keys to unlock your car from inside your house. It’s therefore worth making sure your car keys are kept safe further inside your house.
Don’t forget to lock up sheds and garages
It’s often easy to forget that sheds and garages are an extension of your home and in the colder months these spaces can often be forgotten about. Sheds and garages usually store a number of tools that could prove useful to burglars trying to break into your home. Make sure these spaces are locked up and secured.
Make it look like you are at home
Very few burglars have been known to strike when they think someone is at home. Many thieves are opportunists and if it looks like your home is empty they will be more inclined to try their luck. Making it look like you’re at home, is a simple and effective security measure you should take. Keep up appearances by opening your curtains, mowing the lawn before you leave and installing an outdoor light which automatically turns on for a couple of hours each evening. Better still, invest in an outdoor light with motion detectors, so that anyone who walks past triggers the light to come on.
Burglars will not try to break-in if they fear they will get caught. Savvy burglars will know of all the latest security devices, and they’ll avoid homes if they know that there are effective security solutions in place. Sometimes, even just a security sign can deter a burglar from breaking in, so get your devices set up, and make sure burglars know that your home is protected.
Whilst traditional security systems are important, they cannot be relied upon to prevent crime from taking place. Unfortunately, most traditional security systems, such as alarms, are reactive solutions that will let you know when a burglary has occurred, but there is little you can do thereafter to stop it. Smartphone connected security devices, equipped with cameras and motion detectors, can send live video footage straight to you or your neighbours’ fingertips, meaning you can respond to and prevent suspicious activity before it happens.
Think twice about who can see your social media updates
Holiday makers who share updates about their upcoming trips months in advance and then check in and share snaps of their holidays put their homes at great risk of burglary. Criminals are increasingly using social media to check when homes are empty and half term and the Christmas holidays can provide rich pickings. Before you go on holiday think twice about who can see your family’s social media profiles and ensure that privacy settings are switched on.