The nights are drawing in, and that brings burglars out.
Burglaries rise in the autumn months as the extended periods of darkness give criminals more cover to carry out their crimes.
But there is plenty you can do to protect your home, your belongings and your loved ones.
Security consultant Michael Fraser, host of TV’s Beat The Burglar, is well placed to offer advice as he used to be a burglar before turning straight.
Here are seven tips from him on how to keep your home safe this autumn and winter.
Watch Your Back
Burglars love dark back gardens as they provide them with plenty of cover. Install a motion-sensitive outdoor light to send out a clear security signal.
For the Love of Lofts
Burglars hate lofts. Most won’t venture up there for fear of being trapped if someone returns unexpectedly. So, lofts are the ideal place to store precious items you don’t need to display.
Out of Sight Out of Mind
Burglars often peep through letterboxes to scope a property. Don’t leave anything on display that can be seen through yours, especially keys! Better still get a grill or cover for your internal letterbox.
Lock the Shed
If you have a shed – lock it. Burglars dislike coming armed with tools to a property because it raises the risks of being stopped by Police. Sheds often have a range of things criminals can use to break into your home. Keep it locked.
Beware of the Pets
Have a sign up saying ‘beware of the dog’? Bad move. As burglars will know this means you are unlikely to have a movement-sensitive alarm as pets trigger these.
Make it Hard Work
Burglars want an easy life, and many are callous opportunists so don’t make their lives easy. By having an alarm on show, window locks in place and signs saying you are part of a Neighbourhood Watch or have your property security marked, you are signalling your property isn’t an easy touch.
In the nicest possible way of course. Always ensure your front gate and back gate are closed. This is a small but significant psychological thing. Burglars are hard-wired to look for the easiest option.
The good news is by following these, and the many other security tips available online you dramatically reduce the risk of being targeted.
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