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The basics of home and business security

Home and business security – it’s a term we are all familiar with, but most customers have questions about how to actually acheive professional security at home and at work.

What time of day do burglars love more than any other? What’s the primary cause of household fires? What are the tell-tale signs of a carbon monoxide leak? We assist customers in Coleraine and all over Northern Ireland with all queries relating to securing their property. Find out all you need to know with our guide to the security basics in this blog post.

Timing is everything

Burglaries can happen at any point during the day, and you should always be aware of the potential risk to your home and business. Traditionally, burglars target homes during daylight hours when a large proportion of the nation would be out at work and children would be attending school. But according to Compare The Market, due to the covid pandemic, more of the population have been working from home and the dynamic has changed, with a reduced rate of daytime burglaries. Burglars it now seems, favour the cover of darkness to break in, and over 60% of burglaries are now committed in the evening, with the hours between 18:00 and midnight recorded as the peak period.

Although this is the time of the day when you’re most likely to be slowing down and relaxing, or, now that lockdown measures are easing, to be heading out to socialise, there are still plenty of precautions that you can take to deter burglars from targeting your premises.

Double check that all of the potential points of entry have been locked, and that you’ve not left any open invitations for unwanted evening entrants. Unsurprisingly, unlocked windows and doors are the easiest routes burglars take, and yet this is something that takes minimal effort to prevent. So, whether you’re heading out for the evening from home, or are finishing a long day at work – don’t take any unnecessary risks keeping doors and windows secure.

Appearances are everything, so if it looks like you are at home, then that is one of the best deterents available to prevent a break in at home. For example, our Smart Home Alarm and CCTV package is a great investment for both your home and your peace of mind. Not only will it include a flashing 110db bell box, which is an imposing sight for any would-be burglar, but should the alarm go off, the entire street will know about it. The system can be checked on your phone 24 hours a day and you will receive instant alerts of any issues. By being connected to your Wi-Fi, this sort of home security system can also interact with smart bulbs, which give you the option of keeping things well lit at home at the swipe of a touch screen. This means that, even if you take a post-lockdown holiday, you can still make it look like you’re in.

We know that some of you might like to keep a spare key tucked away in the shed, under the gnome or even in an inconspicuous plantpot in the garden, but this is an open invitation to your home. If you are going to keep a spare key somewhere, the best option is always with a trusted neighbour. Locksmiths Keytek report that 6% of burglaries were committed by someone who was able to enter the property with a key.


Counting the cost

When a burglar targets you it doesn’t necessarily mean they were looking for your most valuable possessions. Jewellery often needs to be appraised to see if it’s worth stealing, while high spec smart TVs and interior sound systems can be difficult to quickly remove from a home.

Some burglars may still look towards a big earner and take your car keys, but the largest number are now targeting the most straightforward route to a quick buck – your debit or credit card. If they are able to find your wallet or purse, then this may give them access to your personal data – information that they can potentially sell on. With this in mind, make sure to keep your personal items in a concealed place, and if they are taken to report them stolen immediately.

It’s important to bear in mind that if your home is burgled, it’s not just items of value that could potentially be taken, but the damage will also likely be caused to your property if a lock has been forced or broken. The Office for National Statistics suggests that the average cost of damage caused by an attempted break-in stands at £1,413, while if a burglar manages to get into the property that increases to £2,856. It is essential that you have home insurance in place that covers the costs of burglary and any items that are stolen. There are many home security options available to help minimise the risk of burglary and increase your peace of mind.


What time of day do burglaries occur?

The Office for National Statistics reports that from April 2019 to March 2020 residents were most likely to be burgled in the evening with 32% of all burglaries occurring during this time. What’s surprising is that following evening burglaries the most active time of day burglaries occur in the afternoon at 20%.

Overall 62% of burglaries took place in the evening/night time with 38% taking place during the morning/afternoon.


What day do most burglaries happen?

It comes as no surprise that burglars are more likely to target homes when it is dark outside in an attempt to not be spotted. But did you know that a whopping 71% of burglaries occur during the week rather than on the weekend? Make sure you lock up after yourself when leaving for work!

76% of burglars gain entry through the door! 33% forced the lock open! 15% of doors were not locked. 6% had a key.


Where do burglars enter the home?

The Office for National Statistics reports that the majority of burglars will enter your home through the front of your property. 59% of burglars entered someone’s home at the front of the property, 33% accessed the property through the back entry way and 7% of burglars accessed a property from the side.

Of those a shocking 76% of burglars entered a property through a door. It’s shocking to hear that over ¾ of burglars enter someone’s home by using the door. 33% of burglars forced the lock open to gain access, this is why British Standard locks and Anti-Snap locks are so important.

15% of these the burglar found the door was not locked at all. Always remember to lock your front door when you leave and ensure your locks are British Standard. If you need to upgrade your locks just give your local Locksmith a call!

20% of burglars accessed the home through the window. Check out our Window Security Guide here!


What damage does a burglar cause?

Between April 2019 and March 2020 57% of people claimed that the burglar left damage to their outside door, 26% of home burglaries ended up with a broken window and 22% were left with a damaged lock. As over 20% of burglars attack the lock to gain entry it is important you know your locks are up to scratch and have some defense mechanism such as anti-snap and anti-drill features. 22% of burglars damage the lock.


Average costs of damages caused to a property in a burglary

It is important you ensure your home insurance covers your property for things such as burglary and the damages of being burgled will cost. The Office for National Statistics reports that on average a burglar will cause £1,413 worth of damage to your property. If the burglar manages to gain entry the total cost on average amounts to £2,856 on average.


What do burglars go for?

40% of victims report that the burglar(s) stole their purse/money/cards, 32% stole jewellery and watches and 23% stole computers/computer equipment. Furthermore, 11% of burglars stole car keys and 7% stole house keys.

When you go to bed at night remember to hide your keys away in a safe place and out of reach of the doors and windows. If a burglar has stolen your keys it is vital that you get your locks changed as you never know when they may attempt to come back again. If a burglar enters your home with a key your insurance claim will be invalid.

Don’t forget to properly lock up your shed, any outbuildings and properly secure your garden furniture as 39% of people had tools stolen from an outbuilding, 34% had their garden furniture stolen and 22% had their bike/bike parts stolen!

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