Top tips to keep thieves at bay as the nights draw in

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

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.

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