16 Oct How to keep your house safe now that the evenings are darke
Now that the clocks have gone back, giving us lighter mornings – but darker evenings, we need to be more vigilant about keeping our homes safe.
Thames Valley Police recently sent out an alert saying that they would post a note through homeowners’ doors if they left their house in darkness while out.
Although the area is not a high-risk one for break-ins, burglary is listed as one of the top three concerns of local homeowners, along with anti-social behaviour and speeding.
Thames Valley Police say: “One important thing we do is alerting residents to the risks of leaving your house in darkness. A dark house is seen as an invitation by burglars; ‘no-one is home so let’s have a go’! If your house is left in darkness, we may be popping a card through your door reminding you to leave some lights on as this discourages the burglars. Make the house appear to be occupied, even if it’s not!”
It’s part of the Police’s Dark Evening/Winter Burglary Awareness Campaign to advise homeowners that burglaries increase when the nights get longer. One of the best ways to deter burglars is to make it look like someone is at home.
You can do this by:
A timer switch can be used with a lamp or a radio or TV. They’re an inexpensive way of making it look like someone is home, as you can set them to echo your own daily patterns. A light left on all night, on the other hand, could actually signify that you’re definitely not at home!
These are becoming increasingly popular. They also work on a timer switch, and simulate the colours of a TV onto the area walls of your lounge or living room, so it looks like it’s on!
Curtains and post:
One sure sign that you’re not there is curtains open all night and post piled up on the mat. If you have friendly neighbours, pull in a favour and ask them to close the curtains for you and pick up the post. While they’re at it, ask them to do the bins for you. Also tell them that they’re welcome to park in your driveway.
Never EVER advertise your movements on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other type of social media. In some cases, burglars are known to their victims. Anything advertising your whereabouts and absence is a risk not worth taking.
In addition, doing the following in the run up to Christmas is a good idea:
Locks and burglar alarms
A front door with a one-cyclinder lock is attractive to a burglar. A front door with multi-locking points plus mortise; not so much. Invest in decent security and use it. Burglars hate alarms, but they can spot a poorly maintained or fake one a mile off.
A Christmas tree with beautifully wrapped presents underneath is a real pleasure during the festive season. But it might be wise to try and obscure it from outside view, so as not to tempt a burglar. Similarly, don’t leave the box for your new laptop outside for all to see. Fold down the packaging and put it at the bottom of your recycling box.
Register your belongings
If the worst comes to the worst and you get burgled, if your possessions are registered you have more chance of getting them back. You can register them on www.immobilise.com for free. It will help the Police trace your valuables in the second hand trade.
Christmas may be coming, but it’s business as usual for us. If you’re thinking of moving in or out of the area at this time, give us a call. We can offer expert advice if you’re planning a move in Chalfont St Peter, Chalfont St Giles, Gerrards Cross, Rickmansworth and Beaconsfield. Call us on 01494 873663 or visit www.a-place.co.uk.