New data from Quotezone.co.uk, a leading insurance comparison website, shows that more than two-thirds (73%) of Brits do not have a burglar alarm system in their home. The findings, which are based on a sample size of more than 350,000 home insurance policies collated over three years, also show that 66% of homeowners recorded do not live in an area monitored by a neighbourhood watch scheme.
Understandably, home security has fallen down the priority list for many throughout the pandemic, but now is the ideal time to rectify this. Burglaries fell by 28% as a result of lockdown as more people stayed at home, suggesting that without the right measures there could be a rebound in break-ins post-lockdown. What’s more, this coincides with studies that show that during the months of June to August home burglaries spike by 10% compared with the rest of the year.
Normally these months would see a surge of people spending time abroad on holiday or simply out more often enjoying the warmer weather and longer evenings – this could explain the seasonal spike in crime. Post-lockdown, it is harder to predict if this will be the trend again this summer but as holiday restrictions lift, local lockdowns ease and the weather improves, now is most definitely the time for homeowners to be thinking about simple steps to keep their home protected:
- LIGHTS – Do invest in light timers to switch on lights, as it approaches dusk for an hour or two it gives the appearance that someone is home. It’s also worth considering installing external security lights that switch on when someone approaches the property, which could act as a deterrent.
- CAMERA – Do make any security cameras or alarm systems noticeable to potential burglars with key positioning at the front or back of the house. If homeowners do not have a system, they can pick up CCTV signs from local police stations. Many new CCTV cameras are small, relatively cheap and unintrusive – they also connect directly to the owners mobile phone with images and videos if they sense someone on the property.
- ACTION – Do take action to improve privacy online. Don’t broadcast plans on social media and if people do want to post holiday snaps, they should make sure settings are set to private with location turned off.
It’s also important for homeowners to check that their home insurance policy is accurate, especially if they’re planning to take an extended vacation. If the owners will be away from home for more than 30 consecutive days, it’s important that the insurance provider is kept updated with any changes in circumstance. If an insurance policy is deemed inaccurate, it could be declared invalid, leaving the homeowner unprotected.
Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk comments: “As lockdown measures continue to ease, it’s possible we might see a resurgence in burglaries, particularly since there are often more burglaries during the summer months.
“It is surprising that so few people across the UK have alarm systems or are involved in neighbourhood watch groups. Now is a good time to rethink the way we protect our homes.
“Even if an alarm system is not something people can invest in right now, there are many other inexpensive tips people can try to help them feel safer and protect their homes, such as connecting timer plugs for lights, storing expensive and easily snatched valuables out of sight and asking callers for ID – genuine callers will never mind this question and the heightened vigilance might just ward off potential thieves.”