Don’t be scared, be prepared this autumn
Autumn can be awesome: the change in seasons, all the colours in the trees, and Halloween and firework night just around the corner! Unfortunately, the darker evenings and longer nights which come with it can make things easier for opportunistic would-be thieves. Burglaries do tend to increase at this time of year*, so now is a really good time to rethink old habits and up your home security game a little.
Keep it light
Putting up exterior security lights is one of those jobs we can put off because it seems like a lot of hassle. But did you know you can get affordable, solar-powered versions which are easy to install and are a great deterrent? Plus, they make taking the bins out in the dark a thing of the past!
To help make it look like someone’s in when you’re out, think about lighting inside the house too. Indoor timer lights are easy to use and better for the environment than just leaving lights on for the whole time you’re out of the house. You could also consider using smart light bulbs, which you can control from an app on your phone, allowing you to pop the lights on even if you’re 100 miles away!
As well as your lighting, make it harder for would-be intruders to approach undetected by keeping any hedges or trees neatly trimmed, so there’s less cover approaching your home.
Keep it out of sight
Keep your valuables (including your car keys) out of plain view through windows, and close all your curtains on the ground floor in the evening, to stop would-be thieves from sneaking a peek.
If you’re planning a little shopping spree or treating yourself, try to avoid leaving the packaging of expensive-looking items outside in the recycling for people to see, too.
Keep it tight
We can all fall out of good habits, but now's a good time to get back in the practice of locking up and setting the alarm before going to bed or heading out - even if you're just popping to the shops in daylight hours. If you don’t have an alarm and have been thinking about one, as well as the obvious benefit of being activated when someone actually breaks in, they can be a good visual deterrent to make your home less of a target in the first place.
And we know it’s tempting, but you really shouldn't ever leave a spare key under the mat or under a flower pot for yourself or visiting relatives, as these are common places where thieves will look. Don’t leave those keys in the window lock either – all someone would need to do would be smash a hole in the glass to reach the key, unlock the lock, and they’re in.
Make sure you have enough Contents Cover in place should the worst ever happen. When estimating the amount of cover you need, don't forget to use the full value it would cost to replace all items as new. Also, make sure you’ve put any Specified Items on your policy – if you’ve got Sheilas’ Wheels cover, that’s anything over £1500, or bikes, including accessories, over £500.
We hope these tips help you feel safer and better protected for the coming months. Now you can kick back with a pumpkin-spiced latte!
You might also be interested in
Protect your home now - so you can chill when it's chilly
Here's some simple ways to prepare your home inside and out for the winter ahead
Treat your car now for a smooth ride this autumn and winter
Show your car some extra warmth now before the worsening weather turns darker and colder
10 tips to help you ride the changing seasons like a pro
Our top 10 tips to help you ride the changing seasons like a champ.