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Winter security advice

The clocks went back last week and we’re now well and truly on the way to winter. And, according to one insurer, the long dark evenings increase the danger of thieves breaking in to your home.

The Co-operative Insurance has analysed claims dating back to 2013 and found that claims for theft increase by 38 per cent in the five months after the clocks go back. Apparently these claims are more likely to involve force or violent entry than in the summer months as they take place under the cover of darkness.

In response to this, Moneyfacts.co.uk has issued a list of actions you can take to protect your home from would-be thieves. In summary, these are:

  • Turn on the lights: leave them on when you’re out or put them on a timer. And having security lights around the outside of your home can stop someone trying to enter unseen.
  • Avoid social media: don’t tell everyone you’re going away as this signposts that your home is empty. (And we would also add that this could invalidate your home insurance: see our advice on this.)
  • Lock it up: check all your windows and doors are locked every time you go out.
  • Get a burglar alarm: apart from anything else, it’s actually a great deterrent.
  • Secure your shed: this is just as much a target as your home.
  • Hide valuables:  having expensive items on view near windows is asking for trouble.
  • Put your keys away: don’t leave keys near a letterbox as thieves can grab these and then use them from the outside.
  • Get rid of ladders: these can give thieves an easy route into your home.
  • Invest in CCTV: this may be a little extreme but this is also a good deterrent. One bit of advice is to have dummy cameras – these might work just as well.

A final bit of advice is to make sure your home insurance is up to date and covers everything you need. And if you’re renewing your policy, don’t just go for the cheapest deal you can find. This might be a false economy if it doesn’t give you the cover you’d need if you’re unlucky enough to suffer a break in. So check the small print carefully.

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