As we’re heading into winter, the temperatures have started dropping, the clocks have gone back, and the evenings are getting darker.
In contrast to summer home security tips, your home will likely be more closed up to trap in the heat. That’s good, and it means you don’t have to worry about the same issues.
Nevertheless, there are still a few home security areas that need addressing in winter. Here are some of our top winter home security tips.
Keep your house looking occupied
Like the summer holidays, many people choose to take trips away during Christmas and the New Year.
Around Christmas is one of the riskiest times for break-ins. You are most likely to be broken into during the run-up to the big day.
These statistics mean it’s just as important to maintain appearances in winter as it is in summer. If it looks like you’re in your house, thieves are much less likely to try gaining access.
- Use automatic timers for the lights.
- Salt your driveway and paths before you go away.
- Ask neighbours to shovel snow or collect mail.
- Don’t leave valuables (or Christmas presents!) visible from the windows.
Don’t leave the car running on the driveway/road
When you get up on these cold, frosty mornings, make yourself breakfast and a coffee and head out to your car, the windscreen could be frosted up. You’ll use a scraper to remove the worst of the frost, ice and potentially even snow. You’ll then run the car and use the interior heater to de-mist and thaw what remains.
Many people might be tempted to start the car and leave it for ten minutes while they go back in and finish getting ready for the day. This, however, poses a security risk. Anyone could simply walk up to your car, get in it and drive away.
Of course, homes in busy areas and cars parked on the roads are most vulnerable to this type of theft, but it could happen to anyone.
We’d advise planning for this in advance (in whatever way suits your needs) and never leaving your vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition. The truth of the matter is that an engine will struggle to warm up until it’s running at normal speeds (rather than idling) anyway.
Here are some other options for warming up your car’s cabin on a chilly morning:
- Heated seats or heated steering wheel
- Remote starters – many new vehicles come with these as standard, but aftermarket options are also available for older models.
- Covering and insulating the windscreens and windows at the end of the day before you head inside, so it’s ready for tomorrow.
- Parking in a garage or under some cover.
If someone does steal your car, immediately notify the police and your insurance company.
At the winter solstice (this year, it’s Tuesday 21 December), we in the UK get seven hours and 50 minutes from when the sun rises (at 8:03am) to when it sets at 3:53pm. For anyone in a 9-5 job, that essentially means you’ll be getting up and driving home in the dark.
To help put would-be burglars off your property, consider investing in outdoor security lights.
Bright floodlights that illuminate your entire garden would send anyone trying to gain access scarpering. Motion-activated lights by the doors and windows would do the same thing.
With installing these lights, be conscientious of your neighbours, too. If someone’s bedroom overlooks the lamps and light constantly streams in, they’re likely to get annoyed. There’s a balance, somewhere, between friendliness to those living next door and security.
Use these outdoor lights alongside timers for the indoor lights for complete appearance that someone’s home.
Inspect your windows
Old or damaged windows could trap moisture inside them. When the temperatures plummet, the water might turn to ice and further damage the window or mean it doesn’t lock or fit properly.
If this happens, it’s easier for thieves to access your home.
Conduct a thorough check of all your windows as soon as possible. If you notice something wrong with any of them, you should repair them as quickly as possible. It could even be time to get a replacement.
Give Grays Locksmiths a ring
As we’re coming to the end of the year, home security is as important as ever. Keep your property safe by investing in reasonable measures to put burglars off.
As well as everything we’ve mentioned in this article, don’t forget to install and set alarms and – of course – lock your doors!
We hope you’ve found this article helpful and that you can use our top tips to get prepared for winter.
For more information about our locksmith services or to arrange an emergency callout, get in touch with us here at Grays Locksmiths.