The more intelligent burglar knows that with hot summer weather comes increased opportunities to get inside homes that would ordinarily be nice and secure.
Windows and doors are accidentally left open, sheds not locked and gardens have more goodies in them, providing rich pickings for the criminally-minded.
Here are a number of ways you can make sure your home is as secure as possible during warm weather spells.
Working out back? Keep an eye on the front
It’s common for many householders to leave windows and doors open at the front of a house while working at the back in the garden while mowing lawns and tending to flower beds. They think that as they’re ‘at home’ it won’t be a problem.
But they shouldn’t. Most break-ins are opportunistic, where thieves have simply seen an open door or window and got in and out quickly.
Make sure you keep the house locked up at the front if you’re out at the rear.
Lock away ladders and tools
In many burglaries, items commonly found in garages and outbuildings are used to access the main home – from ladders and ropes, to cutting tools and screwdrivers. Again, the opportunistic element is there – a thief sees a ladder, then an open first floor window and takes their chance.
Keep all such items safely locked away when you’re not using them, even if you’re only popping down the local DIY store for something you need.
Close garage and outbuilding doors when working outside
It might be a pain as you’re constantly in and out, but try and close and, if possible, lock all outbuilding doors, even when working outside, especially if they face the front of a property.
You might only be 50 metres down the garden, up a step ladder cutting the top of a hedge, say, but thieves can simply dash into a garage, grab an expensive mower or set of spades, throw them in a vehicle and drive off in seconds.
The open windows issue
Obviously, during hot weather, people are going to leave windows open to get a through-draft. But make sure you close and lock them at night if they’re on the ground floor.
If the windows are upstairs, either get the sort of locks fitted so they can only be opened by an amount that’s impossible to get through, or change the windows so that they can be opened fully, but, again, are so small that access can’t be gained.
A good set of garden chairs and tables can easily cost well over £1,500 and are attractive to thieves as they’re items which can be sold on with little traceability and few questions being asked.
If possible, put the furniture away after use, or at least find a way of chaining it to posts or wall-rings to make it less easy to steal.
High walls and overhanging branches
Are there are any structures, such as high walls or trees, which could be used to gain access to upstairs windows at your home?
In the case of walls, think about fitting trellis, something barbed such as pointed metal fencing, to the tops to make it hard-to-impossible to climb onto and balance.
With trees, get them cut back to the point where the home can’t be reached.
Going away? Don’t advertise it
High summer is also a time when burglars know many more people go on holiday than usual. Whatever you do, don’t shout about it on social media such as Facebook and Twitter beforehand or while away!
Motion sensor lighting
Having lights fitted which automatically switch on when something sizeable moves in the garden within a certain range is a great proven deterrent to summer thieves.
It lights up hiding places and makes potential intruders’ features clear to see, which instantly scares off many would-be burglars.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 24th July 2019