Phew! The UK weather is seriously hotting up, and as per every year, this rise in temperature sadly correlates with an increase in burglary figures.
What can really spoil the summer mood for some unfortunate people is that, as well as property crime rates being higher than at any other time of year, most are due to thieves gaining access through an unsecured door or window – and in these instances, many insurance companies won’t cover any losses suffered.
Don’t give burglars an easy ride this summer:
Have CCTV security cameras installed at your property; these act as both a deterrent and a source of evidence for the authorities.
During warm (and stiflingly hot!) weather people are more likely to leave their doors and windows open for ventilation. Walk in burglaries do increase during the Summer, in all areas, so be wary. If you cannot see a door or window that can be used to enter your property, shut and lock it. If you’re enjoying the garden, remember to shut and lock all windows at the front.
Do not post on social media that your home will be empty for X amount of days (“Yay! Bye-bye UK! Hello 2 weeks in Majorca!”) as this may invalidate your insurance as well as increase your chances of being burgled.
Look forward to and enjoy your summer holiday away, but do take measures to make sure your home looks lived in whilst you’re gone:
Use timer switches on lights to make your home look occupied in the evenings.
Leave a car in your driveway if possible or ask a neighbour to park their caron your driveway whilst you’re away.
Ask a neighbour to check on your home while you’re on holiday and move any postout of sight (a big pile of post and pizza menus is a dead give away).
Cancel any regular deliveries such as newspapers; again these can pile up and be a giveaway that you’re sunning yourself somewhere.
Don’t forget about gardens and sheds:
Gardening! If you have a lawn cut it before you go away and trim back any hedges, bushes or shrubs (great hiding places for burglars).
Clever planting can also help – use prickly plants and shrubs close to vulnerable areas such as windows, fences, boundary walls and drain pipes. While we’re on the subject, make sure your garden equipment and tools locked away.
Lock away any valuable items such as bikes – they may be safer in your home than in a garage or shed (in any case, register your bike on www.immobilise.com, a free online property database which the police use).
It’s also worth marking valuable items (again, such as bikes) with your name, postcode and house number using a UV pen or tamperproof label. Keep details of the items such as make, model and also take photographs.
Keep your garden fences in good repair and consider having trellis on the top to discourage anyone climbing over.
Please check your household insurance covers theft from your garden, especially if you have expensive plants, tools or furniture that can be stolen. Garden furniture should be marked as yours if valuable to you.
If you’re leaving the car at home:
There has been an increase in breaks-ins to steal car keys, so make sure if you go away without your car, don’t leave your keys on display or hide them anywhere obvious.
If you’re going away, remember not to leave valuables in your car – even if you know that the bag on the front seat is empty, a thief may still try their luck.
Remove your sat nav and its holder from your car, don’t leave it in the glove box as this is the first place a thief will look and make sure you wipe away any suction markers from the holder.
Lastly, if you do not already have one, we strongly advise having an intruder alarm fitted at your property. This combined with CCTV will provide the best deterrent against burglars this summer. Call our friendly, mobile team for more details on 03330 063 003
And most of all, enjoy the sunshine!