Did you know that two-thirds of UK burglaries occur between November and February? It seems that thieves prefer to take advantage of the long dark nights. With the long-term UK weather forecast predicting a prolonged spell of wintery conditions, here are some home security tips to help prevent you from being a victim of theft this season.
During the winter its easy to focus just on the home and not the shed and garage. After all, the lawnmower, tools and bicycles were put away in Autumn – out of sight out of mind, right? Wrong! Most bicycle theft takes place in the vicinity of the home, not the home itself.
Invest in a mortice lever lock and deadbolts to doors and windows for the shed and garage to make it harder for an opportunist thief.
Securely lock stored bikes
Even with locked doors and windows, if a thief spots an expensive bicycle, tool or motorcycle in a garage or shed, they might consider it worth the risk to break in and steal it. There are few ways to reduce the likelihood of this happening. Firstly, secure the vehicle with D-locks and shackles to any large and heavy object within the shed/garage. I.E. a workbench. Secondly, cover up the item with a dust sheet, you’ll help protect the vehicle from the damp and cold and you’ll keep thieves second-guessing. Finally, consider putting in wooden blinds so that windows are obscured.
Light-up entrance routes
Motion activated spotlights covering the main access drives and pathways are useful to welcome night-time visitors to the home and to deter thieves. However, they could be less effective if used in isolation without a video home security or alarm system once a determined thief has realised that there’s no further action after the lights have been triggered. Consider purchasing “smart lights” that use your home Wi-Fi to send a push notification to your smartphone when triggered. By setting the sensitivity of the lights appropriately you’ll get an alert when something larger than a fox or cat encroaches.
Video Home Security system
There’s a variety of high-quality video home security systems now available in the UK, each with different features and functionality to suit different requirements. Traditional CCTV systems are ideal for homeowners looking for 24/7 video surveillance, although such systems involve expert installation, external wiring and ongoing monitoring subscription costs.
An alternative to CCTV is a video home security system such as Blink - an Alexa enabled system which securely connects via a smartphone app and your home Wi-Fi. As a wireless system, the cameras can be placed anywhere on the property in range of the system’s Wi-Fi sync unit. With each camera’s batteries lasting two years and no subscription costs to access your recordings, they are a cost-effective alternative to CCTV systems.
The key advantage of Blink is that it records and sends a video clip of whatever motion triggered the camera to record. So that you know exactly what and when something is happening, enabling you to act. With Blink you can choose for the cameras to illuminate when they record, ensuring that the thief knows he’s been lit up and is being recorded. With the footage stored securely in the cloud, you’ll have the evidence for posterity.
For external home security, we recommend the weatherproof, infra-red wireless Blink XT system. A one camera system costs just £149.99 with no extra subscription fees or add-on costs.