Halloween season is upon us, and on 31 October, homes across the UK will be gearing up for a night of spooky goings on. Through our latest set of seasonal home security tips, we want to ensure you aren't left fearing for the safety and security of your property.
Trick or treat! Well, when it comes to your home security, you definitely don't want to be tricked.
Although based upon the celebration of all things frightening, Halloween is best-known to be an exciting time for modern families to enjoy fancy-dress parties, local events and of course, the tradition of trick or treating. Halloween isn't for everyone though, and some homeowners aren't as willing to buy sweets for strangers who come knocking at their door after dark. After all, it's not often you see a vampire, werewolf or zombie walking down your road with a bucket of bonbons! It can be an unnerving experience for some, especially the elderly, who can feel much more comfortable having their privacy respected.
Awareness of home security is already raised at this time of year with October being National Home Security Month, and the nights drawing in for the autumn season. Burglary rates can increase due to unoccupied homes becoming easier to spot after dark. Whether you plan to be out or at home on Halloween night, there are many things you can do to help ensure your home stays secure, and those joining the celebrations know to respect your privacy.
Halloween Home Security Tips
Trick or treating usually takes place between the hours of 5.00pm and 9.00pm. You can expect the large majority of trick or treaters to be children. Younger children taking part are usually accompanied by at least one adult, however older children and teenagers may be unsupervised. Here are some tips on what you can do, no matter if you're staying in or heading out between those hours.
If you're staying at home...
Keep your front door locked
As you should every evening, keep your front door locked. It might be slightly annoying to unlock the door every time you greet friendly ghouls with your sweet bowl, but this will prevent any opportunist thief (who could even be posing as a trick or treater) from attempting to steal from you.
Check who's at the door
Before opening your door, if you can discreetly check who's there through a spy hole or upstairs window, you'll have a better idea of whether it's a trick or treater, expected or unwelcome visitor.
Light up the darkness
If you have outdoor security lighting installed at your home, make sure it is working and switched on. That way, you can ensure any visitors are put under the spotlight whilst they're on your property. As well as providing better visibility of outside areas, it can feel much safer when there is light available. If you don't have lighting installed, it is worth looking into the options available, such as motion-sensing LED lights.
If you're not joining the fun, make visitors aware
If taking part in Halloween gives you the creeps, you should probably avoid the pumpkin aisle in your local supermarket. Propping a pumpkin outside your front door home is code for '"Trick or treaters welcome!" It's much wiser to stay out of the fun altogether. You might also want to display a notice outside your home to politely tell trick or treaters that you're not taking part.
We've provided a handy Halloween poster, which you can download and print off here.
A similar poster is also available to download from the Gloucestershire Constabulary website.
If you're going to be out...
Make use of your burglar alarm
If you're planning to be out, or off trick or treating yourself, make sure that your home's burglar system is fully-set. If you don't have an alarm system installed, now is a great time to consider the options available. Systems can be wired or wireless and offer great value for money. Click here for more information on our home alarm systems.
Lock all of your doors and windows
For increased security, check before you go out that all of your doors and windows are closed and locked. This might seem obvious, but even one unsecured door or window is all an intruder could need to force entry.
Make your home look occupied
Don't let burglars know you're house is unoccupied by leaving it in the dark. It is wise to leave at least a couple of lights on in the home, to give the impression someone is there. Trick or treaters may come calling, but if they don't get a response, they should move on pretty quickly. Timer lights are available at low cost and are great for intermittently switching lights on and off, which shows activity in the home. You could also use these for to operate a television or radio.
Be careful with social media - Check your privacy settings
Whenever you post a picture or check-in to a specific location, do you know exactly who can see your updates? What you share on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter can reach a wide audience, so putting information about your whereabouts or possessions online has the potential to leave your home exposed. For example, you might choose to check-in at the airport ahead of a holiday, or show off your brand new car. These types of activities can let a burglar know exactly when you're not going to be home and what could be worth breaking in for. Check your privacy settings and ensure only people you trust (such as close friends and family) have easy access to your updates.
Consider other home security products
Home CCTV systems and security lighting products offer more ways to deter thieves and keep your home secure. CCTV in particular is increasing in popularity, due to the fact it is becoming more affordable for the average homeowner. Security cameras can now provide High Definition (HD) images, which can even be viewed from your smartphone. In addition to a burglar alarm system, these products come together to provide a strong defence for your home.
If you would like further advice on protecting your home, get in touch with our team to arrange a free home security survey and quote. Call 01452 372626 or click here to send us an enquiry.
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