Top tips to keep thieves at bay as the nights draw in
THE dark nights provide more opportunities for burglars. So make sure you protect your home.
Statistics from the Yorkshire Bank show that one in four households in the UK has no contents insurance, which means if you are a victim, you will have to stand the cost of replacing and repairing everything yourself.
So check your policy or consider investing in one.
As for deterrents, you can invest in expensive electronic security, but simple measures are also very effective.
A big no-no is drawing all your curtains when you are away. This may seem like a good idea, but in the day it’s a tell-tale sign.
If you have a trustworthy neighbour, you could try asking them to pop in and draw your curtains at night and you could do the same for them when they go away.
Make sure your property looks well protected, with more than one lock on the door – a cylinder and a main deadlock.
Good quality window locks are also off-putting to burglars, who prefer easy targets and outside lights will also deter them.
Another tip, from a former burglar: “Never get picked up from your front door by a taxi. An unscrupulous taxi driver knows where you live and can pass on the information that you’re away. Get picked up four doors down.”
Here are some other tips from Crimestoppers and the Halifax:
Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage or shed. Keep garden sheds and garages locked and think about using a batteryoperated alarm.
Always have your curtains drawn at night and make sure valuable items cannot be easily seen from outside.
Use timers for lights and radios. They create the impression that someone is at home.
Visible burglar alarms, good lighting and security lighting can be deterrents.
Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around.
Mark your belongings with a property-marking product.
Adding gravel to your garden creates a natural intruder alarm. Rose bushes also work well as a further obstacle because of their sharp and inconvenient thorns.
A well placed CCTV camera can put off even the most determined thief.
If you can’t afford to get a full alarm system and you live in a fairly low risk area, then a good alternative would be to invest in a dummy alarm box, which can be picked up at Wickes.