The end of Official Summer Time signifies shorter days, longer nights and a 20% rise in home burglaries across the UK and Northern Ireland. The aftermath of a break-in can be devastating and often leaves homeowners feeling unsafe in their own homes, especially if their home insurance doesn’t sufficiently cover losses.
Police recommend that in preparation for the anticipated rise in theft for the winter months, people should check their locks to ensure their homes are sufficiently secure. 1 in 5 thefts occur due to thieves infiltrating a low-grade euro cylinder lock. It is recommended your locks meet either TS 007 (3-star rating) or SS312 – Sold Secure Diamond Standard for lock cylinders. Some home insurance policies will specifically ask for this.
Remember to secure your home when it’s left empty by setting alarms, locking all doors and windows and turning on a light to indicate that someone is home. However, it’s equally important to remember that a number of burglaries take place when the residents are still in their homes. It’s worth locking your door whenever you can and ensuring you don’t leave valuables in easily accessible places.
So let’s take a look at some of the most frequently targeted items and how you can take extra measures to protect them.
Some of the most common household items targeted by thieves are:
Laptops, tablets & mobile phones
An increasing number of tablets & mobile devices have inbuilt security features. These range from pin/fingerprint or facial recognition protection to ‘find my mobile’ applications and other encryptions. You can also carry out similar steps with a laptop. Utilise these to make your items less desirable to thieves and to prevent them from accessing your information should they take them. If your phone is stolen, make sure you notify your provider immediately so they can lock and block the device.
Power tools, audio, golfing and gardening equipment
These are some of the most popular items for thieves as tracing them can be very difficult to near impossible after a theft. Keep them out of view and consider storing them in a room/outhouse which can be locked securely. You could perhaps mark them in some way to identify them as your own.
Televisions and high-end desktops
One issue with these items is that they are generally large and remain difficult to ‘hide away’. There are security devices specifically designed to protect these assets, though. Consider installing motion-sensitive alarms in your home to catch any burglars in their stride and ensure to lock your homes whenever possible.
Seemingly as common as ever, keeping your bike out of public view is imperative. Naturally, it would be safest in a garage or outhouse. If this isn’t possible, secure it with a high-grade lock and consider covering it to make it less attractive to potential thieves. Consider registering your bike with https://www.bikeregister.com/. It’s quick, simple and free. This allows you to add the details of your bike onto the police-approved register. You can then mark your bike to let would-be thieves know that the bike is registered.
Home insurance can cover your contents in the event of a break in, so make sure that you’re properly covered for the full worth of your assets. At Find Insurance NI, our specialists can arrange a policy that suits both you and your home so should the worst happen, there’s help at hand.
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