How to keep your property secure over winter

You might have thought that theft and break-ins would increase over the summer, when doors and windows are left open and homeowners spend more time out and about. But according to our data, claims for theft and break-ins drop away from May to September and peak during the winter months.

Maybe thieves feel emboldened by the long nights. Perhaps it’s easier for them to spot empty houses. Or maybe it’s the stash of presents under the Christmas tree at the end of the year. Whatever the reason, the number of burglaries increase by a third after the clocks go back in October.

So as we move into winter, we ask, how can you protect your property and what should you be doing to prevent your rental property from being targeted?

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Understanding the burglar’s mindset

Very few burglaries are impulsive or opportunistic. Most burglars will stake out a home or neighbourhood before trying to gain entry. Which makes sense, when you think about it. Burglary is risky. The maximum sentence is up to 14 years.

Breaking into homes on a whim is pretty likely to get you caught. With this in mind, the object of protection against burglary isn’t so much to prevent people from gaining access.

If they really want to, they can smash a window and climb through fairly easily. It’s about making the task seem as high-risk and low-reward as possible.

The more security measures you put in place and the less accessible you make your property seem the more likely the burglar is to think twice and walk away.

Alarms

Burglar alarms are a great deterrent. They’re purposefully bulky and easy to spot.

Homeowners usually fix them to the front and the back of their homes to ward off anyone thinking about breaking in.

Alarms can emit both sound and light when they go off, the prospect of which is often enough to prevent any burglar from trying their luck.

Some alarm systems can also notify the local police force when a break-in has been attempted, which is useful for isolated properties in rural areas.

How to keep your property secure over winter