Halloween is approaching, but it’s not just pumpkins, witches and werewolves that you need to look out for. Halloween falls just a couple of days after the clocks go back – and the time of year when the number of burglaries across the UK increases.
Even though October 2018 is National Home Security Month, it’s also the month when the most burglaries happen. That means it’s a good time to start thinking about your home’s security and investing in an alarm or other measures you’ve been putting off for a while. After all, even if your home insurance would cover the cost of a break-in, it’s always better to prevent one.
Why darker nights lead to more break-ins
There are a number of reasons why burglaries increase during the months of October and November. Even though they may seem pretty obvious and straightforward, many homeowners are guilty of overlooking the simple measures they can take to protect their home.
As well as having more hours of darkness to hide under, potential thieves have a much easier job of guessing when a house is unoccupied during these months. Unlike in the summer, when it might not get dark until close to bedtime, a house with no lights on during the early evening in winter is a likely candidate for an empty property. This makes it much easier for burglars to choose a promising target.
The countdown to Christmas also begins in October and November. As we begin to buy gifts and store them away for December, our houses have much more on offer to a potential thief. The fact that gifts sit around unopened and unused doesn’t help matters.
Friday is the most common night for burglaries to take place, as homeowners head out and leave their property empty until late. The worst night of year, however, is Bonfire Night. Empty houses and an early sunset, combined with the loud bangs of fireworks, means burglars have an easier job of breaking into a home unnoticed.
How to protect your home during the winter
Apart from making sure your home has a good security system, including a burglar alarm, taking a few simple day-to-day measures can help protect you and your property from potential thieves.
When you’re not at home, keep your belongings and valuables as far out of sight as possible. That means laptops, TVs and other expensive electronics should not be left near downstairs windows if possible. You may also want to keep jewellery, cash and other items that could lure and opportunist in safely tucked out of sight.
If you can, try to make it look like someone is home at all times. This could mean leaving one light on, perhaps in an upstairs room. Make sure the curtains are drawn so they don’t give the game away (and let people see inside). You may also want to install a security light to act as a deterrent. Potential burglars will be swayed at least a little – and perhaps completely – if they know they could be seen.