I’m worried about burglaries this winter. What precautions should I take?
Holidays are coming – but this is also the hottest time for burglaries, so you are right to worry!
While we all want to focus on the festivities, we should also remember that burglaries hit a peak during December – especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas. As we mentioned earlier in The Cost of Christmas, burglary rates always spike over the festive season, continuing on even into January, thanks to the darker evenings and all the new goodies everyone has.
But don’t worry, we’ve got some top tips you can share with your tenant to stay safe this Christmas!
6 Tips to Stay Safe this Season
- Window security: Windows are obviously the easiest place for a burglar to target so ensure that your windows are secure. Sash stops can prevent anyone from opening the window enough to climb through. Laminated glass and/or security film is also highly recommended if you are on the ground floor and within reaching distance. But if your windows are higher, don’t assume you’re safe! Check if your garden furniture or bins would provide an easy boost up to your windows. For windows with key operated locks, don’t forget to double check them – those locks are there for a reason!
- Doorways: Being safe inside starts on the outside. The communal entryway is only effective if it’s closed and secure, so your tenants should always make sure to double-check that the door is locked behind them. If they have any issues with the door, they should let you know immediately!
- Security cameras: Consider investing in a quality security camera to provide an extra layer of security for your tenants. The Met Police recommends that the best communal door entry system includes an audio and video entry where residents can see and hear visitors before allowing them in. Don’t forget to have a house alarm system installed in your home. When this goes off, a burglar will be too scared to stick around.
- Neighbourhood Watch: Keeping an eye out for your community is essential in minimising burglaries. Remind your tenants to not let in people they don’t know – even if they say they are being expected by another resident.
- Social media: It may be tempting, but now is not the time to broadcast gifts or trips away on your socials! Remind your tenants not to share any information or tags about their location to resist the urge to share expensive gifts online and, most importantly, to not post about going on holiday – as that’s just an open invitation to burglars!
- Look lived in: The Metropolitan Police’s Crime Reporting Information System (CRIS) has revealed the highest number of burglaries took place on Christmas Eve at midday in 2018, so when you go out, do your best to make sure the house doesn’t look empty. Remind your tenants to leave lights on if they’re going out or set timers for lights to come on at dusk. They could also invest in ‘smart lighting’ where possible so they can turn their lights on remotely if they forget. They can even alternate the lights at regular intervals – a great way to deter potential criminals.
- Advise your Tenant to get Contents Insurance: If you’re looking to buy specific gifts this Christmas that include popular items such as electronics, laptops or phones, you may want to consider getting insurance. More insurance claims are made during December than any other month of the year, so now is the time to ensure that your valuables are safe during this busy time. Contact us for more information on how you can cover your valuables on a flexible monthly rolling plan with Contents Insurance.
Keep an eye and ear out for your community and stay safe this Christmas season.