How to keep your home safe this Autumn

How to keep your home safe this Autumn

A burglary in your home is one of the worst nightmares homeowners and tenants can imagine. Beyond the obvious loss of personal possessions, there are the lasting effects that the break in of your home can bring. It can be challenging to know how to cope with what has happened, and it may take time for you to resolve the stress that such an incident brings.

The physical damage to your property can live on for weeks after the event. Repairs will be needed, locks changed or improved, and the general clean-up required after being visited by a home invasion can take time.

The psychological effects of these break ins can last significantly longer. Many victims report that they have needed to seek professional aid to help them feel safe within their homes. In a 2020 report from Victim Support,  60% of victims stated that they were emotionally distressed, and 40% were financially affected significantly.

Shockingly, two-thirds of burglaries occur whilst the victims are at home, and a quarter of all victims have been burgled before.

Know when to be vigilant.

It is important to note that the number of break-ins trends to rise in the autumn, where the nights draw in, giving thieves the benefit of darkness for longer. Given the serious implications of being burgled, it is essential to spend some time checking that your security set-up is adequate to help keep you safe and draw attention to your property in the event of a burglary.

Be particularly aware of Bonfire Night, which sees an annual peak of 21% more offences than the averages for October and November.

Make your home a hard target.

Autumn is the time of year that many police forces introduce campaigns to promote home security, with the aim being to reduce the number of break-ins that occur. Keeping your home well-lit at all times is one suggestion to imply your home is busy and active, making it a less appealing target. With smart led light bulbs and plug sockets, you can add home automation to make this look genuine. For example, while much of the house may remain lit all evening, bathroom or bedroom lights can be set to turn off and on at suitable times. Remember to close your curtains!

Visible alarm systems and outdoor home security cameras are excellent deterrents to burglars. There is a wide range of WIFI home security cameras that are easy to install and budget-friendly. Use these to cover all entrances to your property. Be sure the cameras themselves can be seen clearly. Whilst a hidden camera is great for capturing details of a burglary, the real name of the game is prevention. Make sure your security cameras have night vision to maximise their potential. Check out our recent blog on the benefits of night vision on outdoor security cameras if you are unsure why you need this technology in your home set-up.

Pair your security cameras with a visible alarm system that will alert you via an app directly to your phone whilst also audibly alerting anyone in the property and the neighbouring area.  Along with this, be sure to invest in door and window sensors that can be easily installed and use WIFI and long-lasting batteries to ensure that if anyone opens an entrance to your property unexpectedly, you’ll be the first to know. For more information on choosing the proper set-up, check our article on how to choose a smart home security alarm system.

View your home through the eyes of a burglar. Where are the easy access points? Is there a way to carry out your possessions unnoticed? Who is going to come to investigate in the event of an alarm? If you make your home a risky choice, the chances are that any real burglar will go after a softer target.

What to do if a burglar enters your property.

If a burglar enters your property whilst you are present, it is best to avoid confronting them. Raise the alarm to 999, make a lot of noise, but keep yourself distanced from the burglar, for example, by locking yourselves into a bathroom or bedroom.

Indoor house cameras and sensors will allow evidence of the theft to be gathered for later use in court. It can also reassure you over what is happening within your home as you can view your cameras live through the accompanying app. Indoor cameras have a host of benefits, which we lay out in our article: Do you really need an indoor surveillance camera?

One of the most significant benefits of indoor CCTV cameras is the 2-way audio. This allows you to listen in to any burglar and even warn them that the police are on their way, which may help make them leave your property sooner and minimise property theft.

Know when burglars will strike.

Around 40% of break-ins occur during the daytime, between 6am and 6pm, the remainder occurring in the following 12 hours of darkness. Burglars tend to target empty homes or ones where occupants appear to be asleep, as it is easier for them to see if anyone is present or awake due to the darkness outside. If there is a lack of lights or noise, your home is a potential target.

Use outdoor lighting with sensors to illuminate anyone approaching your home, while CCTV records their appearance and activities.

Our top tips to keeping your home safe this Autumn.

  • Many keen gardeners will be pruning back trees and hedges after their summer growth. Ensure that all tools and ladders are put away at the end of the day to ensure they don’t prove helpful to burglars. Keep them locked away to prevent their theft or use in burgling your home. If possible, have one of your external security cameras covering the entrance to your shed.
  • When leaving lights on to strategically make it appear that someone is at home, be sure not to leave any valuables on display, particularly car keys near the front door. Close curtains to ensure that would-be burglars cannot itemise your home contents before even entering the property.
  • In the UK, due to the clocks changing in October, it will be getting dark an hour earlier. Adjust your light home automation schedules to bring your lights on at suitable times.

Prevention is better and more reliable than the cure. Just a tiny percentage of burglaries are ever solved. It’s impossible to state how many burglars are put off from committing the crime, as those figures cannot be recorded, but there is plenty of evidence, plus common sense, show that hardening the defences of your home and increasing the chances of being caught in the act will prevent most criminals before they even begin

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