Although you might think winter's harsher weather would deter burglars from trying to break into your home, the opposite is true. Darker nights and mornings only buy thieves more time to help themselves to your most valuable and cherished possessions.
Don’t live in fear this winter. Follow these tips for securing your home and preventing break-ins.
1. Install time-switch lights
As the sun sets earlier in many parts of the country over winter, your house can be left in the dark for an hour or more before you make it home from work. For burglars prowling the neighbourhood, few things are as inviting as a dark, empty house so your best bet is to lighten it up with some-switch lights. These are bulbs that you can schedule to switch on by themselves, creating the illusion that someone’s home.
2. Tidy up your backyard
Although emphasis is often placed on preventing theft that occurs inside the house, the exterior of your home is also a target - particularly your backyard where the thieves can peruse around unseen. As a best practice, store as much as possible inside your garage, such as your barbeque, sports equipment, bicycles, motorcycle and anything else that could prove vulnerable. If you don't have a dedicated storage space, consider building or renting one for a few months- it may cost a few hundred dollars, but that’s a lot less than having to replace your entire outdoor setup.
3. Remember to lock doors and windows
As we finally close our windows in winter after several warm months, it’s the perfect time to review all entry points to your home so you can secure them. These include:
- The front door
- First-floor windows
- Second-storey windows or balconies that can be climbed
- Internal garages
It's also a good idea to invest in locks that secure automatically when closed. That way you won't have to deal with forgetting to lock up when you leave in a hurry.
Finally, remember that your home should be your sanctuary, a safe place to relax and escape from the rest of the world. For peace of mind, ensure you have the right insurance long before any burglary takes place.