Don't provide burglars easy access to your home.
Summer for many of us means it’s time for a holiday, but it’s worth remembering burglars will still be at work.
Figures released by Staffordshire police reveal that in 2011 there were 3,357 domestic burglaries across the force area — and 1,039 of these occurred in the summer months of June to September.
With the weather warming up, the temptation is to throw our windows open – and run the risk of providing burglars with easy access to our homes, officers warn.
The force’s website points out: “Most burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves. For example, when a window has been left open and insecure, or a door unlocked, it is vulnerable to a potential intruder.”
Call WHITEGATES Today 01782 209935 ..Limited offer. Available only up on production of voucher. Sell your home for £399 plus vat.* #EPC is required to market your home not included in offer.
Terms: *Upfront payment, non-refundable in the event of property remaining unsold, being withdrawn from the market or being sold by another agent, yourself or by any other means.#EPC £62.50 plus vat.
Contact: 01782 209 935
Valid until: Thursday, July 04 2013
Patrick Connor, a community engagement officer with Staffordshire Police, liaises with the area’s many Neighbourhood Watch groups and says neighbours working together can play an important role in reducing crime.
He said: “Over the summer we advise people never to leave doors and windows open. When people go away neighbours can cut each other’s lawns, put out the wheelie bins, and look out for the tell-tale signs that no one is in, like pushing newspapers through the letterbox.
“Neighbourhood Watch by its very nature is about looking out for each other and reporting anything suspicious to the police.”
Police advice to Staffordshire residents on stopping burglars taking the shine off summertime includes starting up a Neighbourhood Watch group in your area. For more information, visit www.owl.co.uk.
Another factor to consider is your home insurance, MoneySupermarket warns. If a burglar does get into your home through an open door or window, your claim could be turned down because many policies include a clause stipulating that you must take "reasonable care" of your property and possessions.
Different insurers and policies will deal with unforced entry claims in different ways, but whether you know your insurer's attitude to this point or not, you should always make it as difficult as possible for thieves to get in.
This means that if you are outside of your home, no matter how short the duration or distance you're away, you should secure your home properly by ensuring all doors and windows are locked.
If you've installed any special security equipment such as alarms or locks to lower your premiums, make sure you are using them.
You should also be wary of leaving windows open on a hot night when you go to bed, thereby making the burglar's job that much easier.
MoneySupermarket home insurance expert Hannah Skenfield said: "While insurance does provide cover for forced entry, leaving your home unprotected could potentially invalidate your insurance.
"Therefore it is worthwhile doing a round-robin of the house, especially during the summer, to ensure that you've closed your windows and not left it easy for burglars to capture your possessions."
Staffordshire Police’s website www.staffordshire.police.uk offers a wide range of crime prevention advice. Here are some of the force’s tips on securing your home: