Now that Halloween is behind us and we look forward to bonfire night, it’s important to consider home security during one of the busiest weeks of the year for police. ‘Mischief week’ is so called because of the rise in vandalism, break-ins and other anti-social crime in the days between Halloween and bonfire night. If you’ve got additional security measures in place already or you’re considering the security of your home for the first time, read on to find out our top tips for keeping your home safe at this time of year.
How To Prevent Your Home From Being Targeted
Taking some simple precautions can make a big difference to whether your home is targeted or not, and most of what you can do to protect your property is simple and/or free. Firstly, it’s important to ensure your home is not too sheltered from the street and from neighbouring houses, if there are any. Having high trees or bushes surrounding your property is great for privacy, but can be very attractive to thieves, as it blocks them from view of surrounding homes when they’re attempting entry to your home. Houses without outdoor lighting are also targeted for this reason. With that in mind, ensuring you have an automatic light outside your home and hedges/trees which do not completely block the outside view is an important first step.
Being very careful about what you leave lying around outside your home is another way to avoid unwanted interest. Leaving tools or ladders in your garden – even if it’s surrounded by a fence and locked gate – can give intruders everything they need in order to break in to your home. Make sure you pack items like this away into securely locked sheds or storage containers to prevent your own belongings being used against you.
How To Defend Your Home Against Intruders
If someone tries to break into your home, it’s always best to make it as difficult as possible for them, as they are likely to give up if they can’t get in within a certain amount of time. Most break-ins are opportunistic, so unless a thief has specifically targeted your home for a reason, then they can be beaten by ensuring you have fully secure entranceways which are very hard to break into.
Your front and back doors, windows and garage door(s) should be in full working order and be of good quality. However, even fully functioning doors and windows may have old weak spots which have been discovered by thieves. Older front doors with euro-cylinder locks may be vulnerable to lock snapping, for example, and some older sliding patio doors could be lifted off their runners if they were installed before this was rectified as part of the design. Having a home security survey completed at your property can help you to identify problem areas which may look and work fine, but could hold weaknesses which thieves could know about and use to their advantage.
How To Claim On Your Insurance After A Break-In
If you do experience problems during Mischief Week, or at any other time of the year, then it’s important to deal with the situation calmly. Call the police in the first instance, and then get in touch with your home insurance provider. They are likely to ask you not to touch anything, and to take pictures of any damage. If you can, write a list of everything you notice is missing and ensure you get a crime reference number from the police. Where your home is left without adequate security (if a window has been smashed or if your locks have been broken) then your insurer will arrange for someone to come out and make your home safe while repairs and replacements can be organised.