Did you know that in winter, home burglaries increase by 20%? As the dark nights become longer and the potential loot is increased leading up to Christmas, opportunistic thieves are likely to target more homes. As burglary season creeps in, it is essential to take extra precautions to protect your property and your family this winter. Take a read of our top tips for looking after your valuable assets, including your car.

image of a secure fenceIntroduce tight security

If you haven’t already, now is the time to ensure all of your security features are working and up to date. Any intruder alarms, CCTV systems or gate systems should always be turned on when leaving the house and when going to bed at night. If you haven’t installed any security systems, you may wish to look into installing a residential burglary alarm.

In addition, you should check the locks on all of your doors reach the security standard – the West Yorkshire Police advise a three star rating for Euro cylinder locks or Sold Secure Diamond Standard for lock cylinders. Criminals are known to target homes with weak locks.

Keep car keys in a safe place

Protect your vehicle by always keeping it in the garage, if you have one. You should also take precautions when leaving your car keys around while you’re at home. Don’t leave them close to the front door, as thieves could use a device to pass them through the letterbox. Don’t make it easy for criminals by leaving car keys on view near a window, either. Always lock doors even if you’re inside the house.

Make your home look occupied

Now that it’s dark from early afternoon, it becomes more obvious when a property is empty. Take steps to make it appear like somebody is home, such as leaving a light switched on. You can even invest in timers which switch on lamps remotely, or a timer switch which can be used on any appliance.

image of secure jewellryDon’t advertise your stuff

Burglars like to see what a house has to offer, to make it worth the break-in. Remember not to leave any empty packaging outside if you have recently bought an expensive TV or games console. Similarly, keep assets such as laptops and tablets out of view.

Keep cash and jewellery safe

There is no reason to have large sums of cash in your home – make sure it is in a safe place. If you have any particular sentimental or valuable items of jewellery, you may also want to keep that in a safe place away from the home during burglary season.

Don’t be a target this winter.