With a larger portion of the day in darkness, follow these winter security tips to make sure that your home’s secure over winter.
When the clocks go back and it starts getting dark earlier, it increases the number of burglaries. Every winter, there’s a dramatic increase in houses getting burgled, with November tending to be the month with the highest number of burglaries.
This isn’t too surprising, though - a longer period of darkness means a longer period of cover for burglars. Also, with it getting dark as early as 4pm, people who would usually be in the house and therefore acting as a deterrent, are often still out at work or school. Additionally, people will have the curtains shut for longer, meaning that neighbours are less likely to be aware of any suspicious activity.
Although the extended cover of darkness is an extra challenge when it comes to home security, there are several winter security tips you can follow in the darker months to reduce your chances of being burgled.
1. Make your home look occupied
Burglars are opportunistic and are mainly are after a quick and easy job, so even the simplest deterrents will encourage them to look elsewhere. Dark homes are particularly appealing – they look unoccupied, and there’s less chance of being seen.
At a really basic level, simply leave a light on when you go to work in the morning if you’ll be getting back when it’s dark. If you’re away for a longer period of time – perhaps jetting off somewhere sunny – invest in some timers to turn on lights and radios in the home at certain times of the day. This’ll give the appearance of the home being occupied.
2. Use sensor lights
Sensor lights are a great way to deter burglars if it’s in an area where they can be seen. They should be used particularly around entryways.
At Grays, to complement our winter security tips we provide bespoke security lighting installation to suit your home.
3. Avoid an overgrown garden
Although in winter it can be easy to ignore the garden, it’s important not to leave it too overgrown or untidy. Overgrown bushes or trees can give burglars cover in the darkness.
Additionally, put away any unused garden furniture that’s more suited to summer. Not only could this be easily stolen, it could also be used to help gain entry into the house - for example, by standing on a garden table to gain access to a window.
4. Lock sheds and garages
For a similar reason to putting away garden furniture, keep your shed and garage secure. They tend to be far easier to break into than the house, and tools they find inside could be used to gain entry to your home.
Check out our recent blog for more information on how to secure your shed.
5. Lock doors and windows
Another simple one, but you’d be surprised at the amount of burglaries that happen simply by the burglar letting themselves in without forcing entry. In particular, make sure that you’re checking all the doors and windows before you go to bed. For more information on cost-effective and safe locks we've written a summary for what is a deadbolt lock.
6. Don’t hide keys
Whilst it can be convenient to hide your keys under the doormat or a plant pot, this is highly discouraged from a home security point of view. Burglars know that people do this and - particularly in the winter months when they have the cover of darkness – will check these locations.
If you need to allow someone else access to your home, for example tradesmen, either leave your key with a trusted neighbour, or where possible, give it directly to whoever needs it, or install a combination key safe.
Although it’s dark for a lot of the time, follow these simple winter security tips and your home doesn’t necessarily need to be put at more risk of burglary through winter.
For further home security advice and recommendations, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.