Now that the summer is over and the dark nights are rolling in, it’s good news for criminals!
In 2016, June had a total of 31,281 burglaries in the UK (the lowest month of the year). By November, this had jumped up to 37,396 and the middle of winter – January 2017 – saw the highest recorded number of burglaries of the year with a total of 38,383.*
*statistics taken from ukcrimestats.com
When the dark nights come around and you’re thinking about Christmas, consider it from a criminal’s point of view. It’s darker outside so it’s easier to break in without being spotted. You’re also more likely to have your lights on inside, making it easy to look in from the street and quickly get a view of your premises.
Here’s a few hints and tips to make sure that you can stay as safe and secure as possible during the winter months.
1. Check that your alarm system is in full working order
If you have an unmonitored alarm, your system should be maintained at least once every 12 months. If you have a monitored system, every 6 months. This applies to both commercial and domestic premises.
If you have a maintenance contract with R Security Alarms, we will remind you when your maintenance is due. If you think you need one or you have failed to take action when it was due, call your maintenance company who will be happy to schedule a visit for you.
2. Install a motion sensor light on your door
One of the main reasons that crime increases is due to dark nights giving criminals a perfect cover to hide from view when breaking in. One way you can help prevent this is to install a motion sensor light above your front door and any other potential entry points. This will cause a strong beam of light to appear if the sensor detects movement. This works as a deterrent as intruders are suddenly in full view of you and your neighbours and lose their cover of the dark.
3. Don’t leave lights on with the curtains open
Dark nights mean that lights need to go on inside the house. However, this leads to your premises being on full view from those outside. If your neighbours can see in, so can the opportunist burglar. These are the criminals who prowl the streets looking for a target. If they see that your premises is on full view, they can take the time to plan out a route in and out as well as items to take. Keeping your curtains closed will mean that no burglar can see in and may result in them moving on to the next house.
4. Be wary at Christmas time
Although Christmas is a time for giving and being around family for most people, criminals see it as a chance to make a perfect snatch of brand new goods. Be alert during December and be sure to not leave items on display as intruders see them as an easy target. Even wrapped up presents are a lucky dip for burglars so make sure that they don’t hit the jackpot with your children’s gifts on Christmas Eve.
5. Lock up your shed/outhouse with your tools secured
Whilst the public are becoming more aware of the importance of locking up their houses and keeping them protected, many are still negligent when it comes to property other than the main building.
Criminals don’t always carry the tools necessary to help them break in to your premises. Instead, they take advantage of an unlocked shed or outhouse which gives them a free selection of tools that the person has neglected to keep secured and then use these to break in to your main premises. It is important to protect all of your premises, not just a main building.
6. Invest in a light up bell box
Most premises have a bell box on them, which acts as a visual deterrent for criminals as a way of saying that your property is protected.
However, most bell boxes are simple solid plastic and are almost impossible to see in the dark. R Security Alarms now offer light up bell boxes which are visible at all times of day and night. These bell boxes show opportunist burglars that you care about your premises’ protection.
7. Invest in a high quality CCTV system
R Security Alarms understand that a CCTV system is an investment. However, it is one that is worth its cost if a break in were to occur in your premises.
Modern CCTV systems now offer night vision to further increase their reliability in catching criminals. A CCTV system inside your premises can catch criminals in the dark as well as in the light. Cameras outside do the same job but also act as a visual deterrent as criminals see the camera and know that they’re being watched before entering.
The technology in CCTV cameras has greatly improved in recent years with HD cameras available at reasonable prices, meaning that you don’t have to worry about blurry images of unrecognisable faces if you are the unlucky victim of a break in.