The longer and darker months of winter in the UK bring with them an increased risk of home break-ins and burglaries. In fact, the UK sees a 25% spike during the winter months which means that it’s extra important to make sure your house is secure.
Protecting your home from break-ins should be a priority year-round, but especially so in the months when you may be more at risk. Below, we’ve covered a few basic ways you can ensure your home is kept secure from burglaries over the winter months.
Secure your doors
First and foremost, you need to make sure that all your doors are secure. Winter is often the time you’ll be checking your doors and windows for draughts anyway, so use this time to check that all the entry-ways to your home are secure with working locks.
You could also consider fitting them with secondary protections such as deadbolts or strike plates. If you move into a new house we strongly recommend you get the locks changed as there’s no telling who might have access to it.
Be safe with your keys
Of course, all the locks in the world will do little good if someone can just walk in the front door. Having a spare key hidden somewhere outside may be convenient for you and your family if one of you ever finds yourself locked out, but it does leave your home vulnerable.
A good place to start is never leaving your keys hidden in your front garden as anyone paying close attention will make sure they don’t stay hidden for long. It’s also a good habit to keep keys out of sight and reach from any doors or windows as thieves can use the smallest entry point to extract them from your home and return at a later date.
Protect your windows
If someone can’t get in through the door you can bet good money that the windows will be their next target. The best place to keep your home secure from attempted break-ins is to install good locks on all of your windows with extra attention for any on the ground floor.
You can also attach bolts onto the frames which prevent them from opening all the way, acting as a belts and braces approach should you forget to lock them. Of course, people can always enter with force which is why you can consider options such as fitting windows with plexiglass or double glazing, the latter of which comes with the added benefit of keeping your house extra toasty during the winter.
Install an alarm
Assuming you don’t already have one, getting an alarm is a great way to deter a would-be burglar. The sight of an alarm will be enough to put off someone trying their luck, while only the most fool-hardy would dare continue with a burglary after the alarm goes off.
It’s a good habit to get into regularly check your alarm as due to their seldom use it’s not always obvious if they aren’t working
Install a security camera
Likewise, the presence of a CCTV camera is enough to deter most would-be burglars. Having a working security camera, however, will provide you with invaluable evidence should someone successfully break into your home.
Another potentially easier option would be to invest in a Ring doorbell, which records visitors as they approach your home/ring your doorbell. These motion sensor activated cameras are an equally good way to deter criminals from attempting to break-in to your home.
Illuminate your garden
Keeping your doorways and garden well lit is a great way to put off any unsavoury characters from helping themself to your stuff.
Using solar-powered lights can be especially useful as they’ll turn on automatically when the sun goes down – even if you’re not home.
Keep your home insurance up to date
Of course, you could put all the preventative measures in the world in place and still fall victim to a home break-in. That’s why having home insurance that covers the contents of your own is essential, covering the replacement value of items lost or damaged due to theft or vandalism.
If you already have home insurance, make sure you are keeping it up-to-date with the items you need to cover, and if you don’t have insurance, get a quote using our tool below to cover the contents of your home should you be unfortunate enough to have your home broken into over winter.