As the nights are starting to draw in, it is worth considering what measures you can put in place to improve the safety of your home and possessions.
Consider installing motion-sensitive lighting fixtures above front doors, porches, garage doors and entrances to back gardens. Fit timers to indoor lights when you are out for the evening or going on holiday
Make sure you always put your alarm on when leaving your home. If you are moving into a new property, familiarise yourself with the alarm and set a new passcode.
Fit window locks to all downstairs windows, and to easily accessible upstairs windows. Securely bolt or padlock side/back gates. Remove any ladders that could be used to gain access through upstairs windows or a flat roof.
Be letterbox aware
As vehicle theft becomes more sophisticated, and often to order, thieves turn to letterboxes to obtain keys. Make sure you put these and other valuables out of easy reach and sight of the front door.
Mark your valuables with a UV pen – a discreet way to identify your items if they are stolen.
Sheds and garages
Many sheds are used to store cycles, garden equipment and tools. Ensure you have a sturdy padlock on your shed and garage doors.
Where possible, don’t allow the front of your home to be obscured by trees or hedges that may provide hiding places for thieves.
Don’t get caught out online. Be careful about what personal information you divulge on social media. Opportunist thieves often turn to Facebook and Twitter to target unsuspecting victims, so don’t divulge information regarding your whereabouts. And never reveal that your property is empty.
Be a good neighbour and join the local Neighbourhood Watch group. If you are new to the area, this is also a great way of getting to know your neighbourhood and meeting new people.
Ensure that you have adequate home and contents insurance.