How to protect your home when returning to the office

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Returning to the office, but worried about your home security? Check out our top tips on keeping your home safe when you’re out and about...

  • In the summer of 2021, burglaries rose by 6% when people started to return to work
  • Do you own a garden office? Your home insurance usually covers all property on your land but basic policies might not cover the contents of your garden
  • Check out the advantages of updating your home security to make sure your home's secure when you’re at work

Are you more likely to be burgled during working hours?

Safe Style Windows reported that your home is most likely to be broken into between the hours of 10am to 3pm.

Burglars tend to target homes when they know people aren't going to be in -- making those working the traditional 9 to 5 the perfect target for daylight robbery. With many returning to their offices full time now (unlucky!) it's worth considering making your home more secure.

According to research the most common day of the week to go into the office is Thursday while only 1 in 10 people go into the office on a Monday. As people tend to follow the same pattern week-on-week for when they'll be out at work, this could make it easy for perceptive burglars to know when your home will be empty.

Are burglaries more common post-pandemic?

Unsurprisingly, burglaries fell during the pandemic for the simple reason that people were at home a lot more frequently, making break-ins more difficult. Although burglaries may not have risen to pre-pandemic levels, with lockdowns easing they have increased.

In the summer of 2021, burglaries rose by 6% - when people started to return to work, and more specifically, LV= found that thefts from sheds and outbuildings rose by 43% in 2021, too. For many, home security is front of mind with people looking for reassurance their home will be safe when they leave to go to work. Data shows 79% of people worry about their homes being burgled, and with Tool Station stating a 500% increase in the purchase of garden buildings in the first few months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, it's hardly surprising.

Martin Milliner, Claims Director at LV= General Insurance says: “With many of us working from home for some time now, thieves haven’t been as opportunistic but we’re concerned the ease of restrictions will result in a sharp rise as more homes are left unoccupied during the day. The large increase in thefts from outbuildings is also significant because many people have added the space to work from home but it also creates an easy target. It is so important that homeowners check all doors and windows are securely locked before leaving the house, as it’s so easy to forget to check.” 

Have you upgraded your WFH space?

Working from home and the increase in hybrid working has led to people building shed offices or ‘Shoffices,’ as we affectionately call them, in their garden to work from. 

Smart Garden Rooms, Offices and Studios had their best ever sales month in April 2021 with more than £750,000 of sales - double its monthly average. These garden offices don’t come cheap, sales of garden buildings rocketed by 500% between January and May in 2021 compared with a year earlier, while sales of sheds soared by more than 460% in the same period, according to the DIY and building supplies retailer Toolstation.

Own a garden office? Make sure your insurance covers it! 

Have you thought about what owning a garden office or upgrading your shed actually means for your insurance?  Check out our guide to insuring garden offices - including everything you need to know about WFH and your home insurance. 

If you’re looking for a quick answer, your home insurance usually covers all property on your land. But basic policies might not cover the contents of your garden. You should also make sure you’re covered by both buildings and contents insurance, as this will protect you for any damage to external properties like sheds and external offices as well as your possessions within them.

Looking to secure your home?

In 2021 there were over 267,000 burglaries in England and Wales, yet only 22% of the UK population have no other security than standard door and window locks (shocking, but you’re not alone). 

To highlight the advantages of beefing up your home security, we’ve put together a few tips on how to make sure your home's secure while you’re at work. 

A visible burglar alarm still does the trick. Making sure your alarm box is visible on the front of your house to let burglars know you have an alarm is a great way to deter them. You could also consider home security cameras, or even a doorbell with a camera, letting any burglars know you mean business when it comes to home security.

Making sure all doors and windows are locked when you leave your house is a simple way of keeping your home secure. Burglars are often opportunistic so will jump at the chance when they see an unlocked/open door or window. Keeping valuables out of sight will also deter burglars.

Doors should ideally be fitted with a five-lever mortice deadlock. Doors with glass panels are less secure but can be fitted with laminated glass or plastic glazing film for extra protection.

If you’ve always wondered what a five-lever mortice deadlock is - it’s your lucky day!

It’s one of the most available and secure types of lock and is usually fitted to wooden doors that can be locked with a key from both the inside and outside. Five-lever mortice deadlocks are usually fitted within the material of the door rather than on the surface so when the bolt's in the mortice, the door is unable to move and is securely locked.

Being blinded by your own outdoor lights is hardly the best welcome after a long day. But they are in fact a good way to make a burglar more visible, which will (you guessed it) help put them off.

And they also help you park your car in the dark without knocking the bins over!

Looking for an excuse to get a dog?

There are more than enough reasons why dogs are a man’s best friend and being naturally loyal creatures is one. Whether it’s a family pet or a trained guard dog, they can be your trusty companion and help protect your home. 

That’s because many dogs will bark at an unfamiliar face or react to a disturbance -- even more of a reason to be persuaded to get a furry friend! 

Burglar proofing your garden. Putting gravel around your home is a great deterrent as it makes it difficult for a burglar to approach the house without alerting the occupant. 

Make sure hedges are trimmed back so your property isn’t hidden from view. And, if you've bought new valuable items, don't leave the packaging out with your recycling for an extended period, as it can be a clue as to the value of your possessions.

So, it’s time to update your home security and maybe get yourself a furry friend! While you’re at it, why not check your LV= Home Insurance is up to date and includes everything you need to be covered when it comes to your home office?

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