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Historically, this time of year is known for increased cases of vandalism, intrusion and anti-social behaviour.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • Increased hours of darkness
  • Opportunists have more time to execute plans
  • Seasonal events such as Halloween and Bonfire Night create distractions and create windows of opportunity when people leave their homes
  • The festive season means more valuable belongings stored at home and people going out to celebrate more often

However, this year is slightly different, and we all know why. The events may not go ahead but the threat of intrusion, vandalism and damage remains for both occupied and vacant properties.

With many of us isolating, there’s an argument that in forming support bubbles or choosing to move in with significant others or our families, more properties are left unattended more regularly. Just because we categorically are spending more time indoors doesn’t mean the chances of a break-in are dramatically decreased – remember break-ins happen even when the residents are home.

So how do we prepare for darker nights?
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Don’t ignore seasonal cues

 This week we celebrate Bonfire Night, so how do we extinguish the opportunities presented for a potential break-in?

  • Expect the expected – many things have changed but those desperate enough to break into people’s homes will not change their views because of a pandemic
  • Secure your home – if you do go out, make sure all entry points are covered – lock the doors, install lighting to the front and rear of the property and consider CCTV systems as another measure
  • Maintain your measures – if you had lights installed last year, check they are still working efficiently as we move into the colder, darker months of the year

In the space of a couple weeks, our focus will fully shift to thoughts of Christmas and the albeit restricted festivities.

  • Store valuable belongings/gifts etc. in a secure place
    • In your home where they aren’t visible to passers by
    • In the garage – but make sure it is secured properly
  • Don’t opt to store gifts in garden rooms/sheds unless of course you have sufficient security measures in place

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Remember, remember… your other properties

Yes, many of us are responsible for more than one property, whether that be a commercial building, a second/holiday home, a new home under construction or as we’ve spoken about before outbuildings/garden rooms etc.

An isolated, unoccupied property is also particularly vulnerable to break-ins and vandalism. It is also likely to be more vulnerable to weather related damage.

  • Regular checks – by yourself or an experienced team
  • Vacant property security – such as SPS steel security – reducing the likelihood of damage to your property, providing shelter to unauthorised individuals, theft and vandalism
  • CCTV to allow you and an experienced team at an ARC to regularly monitor the building

As the seasons change, we are given a physical cue to check our properties, both those that we live in and those we are simply responsible for. Whether you are an occupant or a landlord, there is a constant need to keep on top of your security measures.

During National Home Security Month, we looked at the many reasons why in 2020 you may need to take a slightly different look at your measures, but as we’ve said many times, you shouldn’t be lured into a false sense of security, no matter how much time you spend at home.

Our biggest tip this year is to be alert and be aware. Be alert when it comes to the threats that remain and the lengths people will go to. Be aware of your options when it comes to securing your home and realistically what you should be considering. Don’t let the intruder outsmart you, you know your home better than they do and you can use this advantage to secure it to the best of your ability.

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