Safety tips for Halloween & Bonfire Night
It’s peak burglary season, with reports of increases of 38% on the rest of the year, so take a little time to ensure you don’t become a statistic.
Halloween can be great fun, especially for those who love fancy dress and trick or treating. The American version of Halloween is fast becoming the norm over here with shops filling their shelves with decorations, costumes and pumpkins. And more than 50% of people in the UK say trick or treaters have visited them.
But trick or treating isn’t fun for everyone, and there are people who don’t look forward to the constant knocking on their door all evening.
Remember, if you don’t want to get involved, you don’t have to. You can put a sign in your window (some are available online to download) to deter any potential visitors, and you don’t have to answer the door. Even if you are happy to welcome trick or treaters, it is a good idea to screen visitors by using spyholes or video entry systems before you answer.
Don’t overdo it with the decorations, make sure you can see your garden and you haven’t provided places for burglars to hide. Tidy up anything you’ve left outside, such as bikes, and check your garage and shed are locked.
When you answer the door put your lights on, inside and out, and keep any valuables out of sight of your front door. Don’t give anyone a reason to return!
If you have motion sensor lighting use it. Light will deter any opportunistic thieves.
Bonfire night is much more about parties and fireworks displays. You’re probably going out to one or hosting one in your garden.
If you’re going out, make sure everything is locked up at home and you leave some lights on. Try to make it look like someone is home.
If you’re hosting a party think about the fact that people will be wandering around your home and garden. Don’t leave your front door or windows open if everyone is in the garden; it could be easy for someone to sneak in when everyone is focused on the fireworks.
Half term falls the week of Halloween for a large part of the UK. If you’re going on holiday don’t advertise the fact on social media. Try to make your house look occupied, put lights on timers and ask neighbours to collect post and keep an eye on things.
This could be a good time to upgrade your security systems, both for homes and businesses. The increased statistic for burglaries also includes commercial properties. Take a look at the National Home Security Month website for advice and recommendations on alarms, cameras, lighting and other options for keeping your home safe.