- LV= data shows theft claims increase during the winter months
- Fireworks night is a popular night for thieves to target homes
- Follow our 8 tips to prevent break ins
Analysis of our own 'theft from home' claims data since 2008 revealed that October - December showed the highest total number of claims compared to other times of year, with Bonfire Night one of the most common nights to be burgled (178% increase in theft claims compared with a typical day).
Surprisingly, the data also showed that when the 5th November fell on a Saturday, there was a sharp increase in burglaries (92% of claims), most of which (63%) occurred between 8pm and midnight.
Being burgled is often a traumatic experience for homeowners and the ease of entry can be very alarming. For the past two years, the Metropolitan Police has promoted 'Operation Bumblebee', a campaign to combat burglary, as well as give homeowners advice to prevent them from becoming a target.
Following their lead, we've pulled together some cost-effective and easy preventative measures you can take, to safeguard your home from being broken into this winter.
1. Check your locks
This sounds obvious but most of the UK's burglaries are through the front door, so you should make sure your locks are in good order. Yale locks are the best, though mortice locks may need extra protection. Don't forget window locks, too - The Master Locksmiths Association has more information.
2. Light up!
A house with a light on says there's someone at home. Invest in a low-cost timer that sets your indoor lamps and lights to turn on and off as and when you choose. Outdoor motion-sensor lights outside the house will shine brightly on anything that's moving outside your home – a great deterrent for an opportunistic burglar.
3. Noisy neighbours
Burglars hate noise as much as they hate light. Invest in another electric timer and plug it into a talk-based radio station when you're out. It gives potential thieves the impression that someone is in.
4. Be very alarmed
It's another obvious one but homes with alarms are less likely to be targeted by burglars, especially as some alarm systems have a direct connection to the Police.
5. Get wary with your windows
Close and lock all windows at night and when you're not in the house – and keep the key out of the lock. You might also consider buying a low-cost window shock alarm, which sounds loudly if there is an attempted break in through the outside window.
6. Fences and sheds
Burglars do not like fences or gates that are difficult to climb or open. If you have them, make sure they are locked at night or when you're away from home. Your shed or garage could be storing lots of costly equipment too; make sure it's fitted with a good lock from the outside.
7. Hedge your bets
If you have hedges or bushes, keep them low and well-trimmed as they can offer a good hiding place for potential thieves. For a total all-out offensive, you might even consider having prickly plants, recommended by the Gardeners Guild.
8. Check your insurance policy
Some home insurance policies offer tailored cover and high-levels of protection to protect you and your home if a burglar does get the best of you. How comprehensive is your home insurance? Knowing that your home and its contents are well insured offers invaluable peace-of-mind.