What extra security precautions should you be thinking about this Halloween?
Halloween is consistently one of, if not the worst day of the year for deliberate acts of vandalism to domestic property. Insurance reports from previous years show home damage claims rise by 150% between Halloween and Bonfire night, while burglaries increase by 26% compared to weekly average for the rest of the year.
September/ October is therefore a great opportunity for homeowners to revise their current security systems, and identify any measures which could be taken to enhance property protection. While some of these measures may be very specific to events such as Halloween, they will also provide security throughout the daylight saving months.
When the clocks go back, crime increases
Property owners across the UK are affected by the crime spike which follows the turning back of clocks every October. According to Hackney’s borough commander, some areas of London see the number of residential burglaries double the day the clocks change. This is primarily because criminals have two additional hours of darkness which they can use to target empty properties.
One way to prevent evening and night-time burglaries is to use light to make your home look occupied. Both internal and external lighting can be used to great effect, giving the impression that the home is not empty, and that approaching and entering will be much harder to do unobserved.
If you are planning to leave your house for an extended period of time during the first week of daylight saving, consider leaving a few lights on inside behind drawn window curtains. This is simple security tip has stood the test of time and is still recommended by the Metropolitan Police as a means of burglary prevention.
For homeowners planning to stay away from home for more than one night, smart bulbs and automated lighting schedules are options worth investigating. Light bulbs can be set to mimic realistic lighting patterns while you are away, giving a more convincing impression of occupation and deterring theft.
External lighting is also a powerful deterrent, being spotted and identified is a huge threat to any criminal who may be considering approaching your property. 34% of burglars enter a property through the front door, and 22% through the back door. These entry points should be priority spots for external motion sensitive or flood lighting.
Don’t leave it to chance, install a burglar alarm
A crime survey for England and Wales showed that just 1% of homes with basic or advanced security systems were burgled over the course of a year. Burglar alarms, just like CCTV systems and high-quality door locks are not seasonal precautions. They offer protection to commercial and residential properties all year round.
If your property has not yet been fitted with a burglar alarm, then consider using Halloween as a prompt to look into this security option. Most alarms systems use small lights to show they are active, these also serve to make the alarm visible during the night, warding off darkness dependent criminals.
Halloween is often a very busy night for emergency and police services, so taking the initiative to secure your property means that you are less dependent on these external parties. Monitored alarm systems provide more immediate response options, including professional keyholders who are trained to deal with a huge range of emergency situations.
Protecting your property from Halloween vandalism
Halloween falls on a Monday this year, which means that authorities and local communities should be on high alert over the last weekend in October (29th-30th). Every year there are a huge number of vandalism reports, many relating to pranks such as pelting buildings with eggs and toilet paper. These are criminal offences and often escalate into much more serious attacks on cars and houses.
Over the last few years, local shops have stopped selling goods which could be used in these pranks in order to protect their neighbourhoods. With supermarkets and local authorities on high alert, property owners should be too.
Installing CCTV cameras provides an advanced level of protection for both business and residential buildings. If your property has a visible camera, or visible signage alerting the public that CCTV is in operation, then the chances of being targeted by vandals are significantly slimmer.
If your property does fall victim to a malicious act, then you can use footage from you security camera system to identify and prosecute the offender.
An additional consideration for commercial buildings is security shutters. These flexible metal sheets will shield your shop front or any exposed windows from harm, including eggs, graffiti and more permanent damage.
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