The dark nights are upon us

No, we’re not talking about Batman. Just as happens every year, the clocks go back and the nights become darker much earlier. This brings with it security issues.

The nefarious in our society prefer the darkness when carrying out their burglaries. Therefore, the longer the night hours, the higher the crime rate.

Outdoor security lighting is a valuable investment in winter months, whether letting out a fixed beam of light or working on a sensor. The latter is particularly good for security, as you’re instantly alerted to what or whom could be hanging around your property if the sensor is tripped and the light comes on. No burglar wants to alert the householder to their presence when there are empty, much easier properties to burgle nearby.

It’s also the time of year that we think about buying gifts in the run up to Christmas. This year in particular, there have been so many reports of stock shortages across all sectors that it’s no surprise some families are starting early to accumulate the gifts they wish to give. Presents for the average family could run into a few thousand pounds—a new phone here, a MacBook there, and it’s easy done. Even more reason to think about home security.

Electricals Online’s Master Blaster would scare the living daylights out of any intruder. Much louder than your average house alarm, this unit would startle even the hardiest burglar, and see them shooting off into the undergrowth should they be unfortunate enough to set it off. We spoke a couple of weeks ago about the importance of security alarms on your property, and how a dummy alarm box could actually advertise your house to criminals than protect it from them; security is not an area to scrimp on.

Within your property, consider investing a little in smart plugs for your lighting and/or other devices, such as the television or radio. These allow you to control your home lighting and appliances remotely, so you can give the impression you’re at home when you’re not. If you’ve seen ‘Home Alone’, think of the lengths Kevin McAllister went to, to suggest to anyone passing that a party was taking place, in order to deter burglars…all you have to do is program your app.

CCTV and doorbell cameras are also good when you’re not home, to help you determine if someone is lurking outside your property. As are heavy duty locks on your outbuildings and sheds. You can even add sensors to your windows that alert you if they’re opened when you’re not aware they should be.

Security-conscious people sometimes opt for a door brace on their outer doors. This fortifies the door and makes it many times harder for criminals to gain entry with blunt force (such as numerous kicks). If you were to actually see what your PVC front/back doors are made of when stripped of their façade, you’d realise how little protection they actually provide against someone intent on breaking in. The same goes for the standard locks/deadlocks door companies provide; pay to upgrade these during fitting if you can, or get a qualified tradesman to change them to a heavy duty version if the door is already installed.

If you’ve just bought a house that’s new to you but you’re not the first to own it, consider changing the locks when you move in. You have no idea how many people may hold spare keys to your home from the previous householders’ time in the house. Another great tip that many people wouldn’t think about is to check your property once workmen/tradespeople have left for the day. No one’s suggesting that a professional tradesperson must be a burglar scoping the house, but it just so happens that many burglars pose as all sorts of professionals to gain access to your home, so that they can leave a window/door open for a return visit later that night.

Be careful about how much you share on social media. People are savvier now about posting when they’re off on holiday, for fear of criminals reading their posts and ransacking their empty house; however, how many people post pictures of their new house keys on Instagram when the purchase finally goes through? Did you know that criminals can copy your key from just a photo? Most people will be unaware that such technology exists, but now you do, we’re sure that’s one Insta pic you’ll leave out.

There are so many more ways you can safeguard your property and belongings, but the above tips are good for starters and will bring you peace of mind.