Have you noticed the nights gradually drawing in over the past month? It’s about to get darker, much earlier, as the clocks go back at the end of October.
Even though it happens twice a year, the tradition of the clocks changing is something that always causes a stir. But it is the second of the clock changes that is perhaps more noticeable, as golden leaves, woolly scarves and darker nights signal the start of the autumn season.
Why do the clocks change?
It all began in the USA with the introduction of ‘Daylight Saving Time’ by Benjamin Franklin in 1784.
In the UK, the changing of the clocks dates back to over a century ago. It was the result of a campaign by Mr William Willett which began in 1907. Like Franklin, Willett wanted people to get out of bed earlier! He thought that the country was guilty of wasting precious hours of daylight during the summer months, which could be used to much better effect. This included encouraging businesses to stay open for longer and helping save fuel during World War One.
Almost 10 years later, in 1916, British Parliament passed a new Act called the Summer Time Act, which introduced the concept of ‘British Summer Time’ (BST) and ‘Greenwich Mean Time’ (GMT).
The idea has since been adopted by several other countries around the world.
When are the clocks going back this year?
The longer hours of darkness will become significantly more noticeable once the clocks change from British Summer Time (BST) to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), going back by one hour.
This year, the clocks will ‘fall back’ on Sunday 27th October at 02:00.
Your smartphones and devices can be set to update automatically, but any analogue clocks around your home will need to be adjusted manually.
When do the clocks go forward again?
The next time the clocks change will be when they ‘spring forward’ for British Summer Time (BST) on Sunday 29 March 2020 at 01:00.
Burglaries increase by a third during the winter months*
A side effect of the clocks switching to GMT is an unfortunate spike in burglaries. The reason why is simple: burglars embrace the longer hours of darkness. Thieves can operate much more covertly using the cover of night to their advantage. Unoccupied homes are particularly vulnerable as they can be easily identified after nightfall. If the property appears vacant from the outside or is not clearly protected by a home security system, it becomes a much more attractive proposition to a thief.
There was a recent case in the West Midlands where a ‘gang’ of burglars travelled to the UK from Romania to commit a series of raids on luxury homes. The gang was described to have specifically identified the winter months as the best time to carry out their crimes, targeting unoccupied properties in affluent areas. Cases like this go far in proving the need for increased vigilance during extended evenings.
How do I stop my home being burgled?
Home Security Systems
These include locks and electronic systems that are designed to help deter, detect and defend against burglars. A burglar will be at a much higher risk of being disturbed or caught if breaking-in to a home fitted with this kind of measure. Worryingly, the Office for National Statistics reports that 63%* of homes burgled in England and Wales have no, or less than basic home security measures in place.
In addition to making the best use of home security systems, following a daily security routine and just doing the simple things can make a huge difference to the overall level of home security.
For example, leaving lights on when going out will create the illusion someone is home. Timer Switches are available that can be set to turn plug sockets on and off intermittently. Simple analogue switches are widely available from DIY stores, or homeowners can benefit from newer technology such as Smart Plugs that enable lights and appliances to be controlled from their mobile device.
In today’s connected world, exposure to online threats means common sense plays an important role. Take social media. Whilst there are many benefits to engaging with friends and family online, sharing locations or images of valuable items in the public domain are not good ideas. The modern burglar will monitor websites such as Facebook to hunt for further opportunities.
Burglary is an unpleasant experience that no homeowner should have to go through. The risk of this happening to a client can be greatly reduced through a combination of increased vigilance, deterrence, proactivity and sticking to a consistent home security routine.
Are you ready for darker nights?
Did you know that Allcooper is currently running a campaign focused on helping homeowners improve their security as the nights draw in? As well as useful advice and information, we’re offering new customers a 20% saving off new home security installations, plus a FREE 24-Hour Timer Switch.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL OFFER DETAILS
For more home security advice and information, please call our team on 01452 372626 or fill in our online enquiry form.
*Sources: Burglaries increase by a third during the winter months (Co-Op Insurance), 63% of homes burgled in England and Wales have no, or less than basic home security measures (Office for National Statistics)