You might be pleased to hear that the current long range weather forecast suggests we’re in for a lovely September (although typically, it’ll probably be raining as you’re reading this!). Hopefully we won’t be hitting the draining 30 degree plus level of temperatures again but a spell of decent weather does mean we’ll be keeping those windows open for a while longer yet. So it’s worth being aware of the fact that some places this summer suffered from a rise in opportunistic burglaries as criminals took advantage of people trying to keep cool. Windows left open, front doors left unlocked while people were out in the back… sadly they presented opportunities that thieves didn’t hesitate to take advantage of. Opportunistic theft isn’t just something homeowners suffer from of course. The same issues apply to businesses too. It’s very easy for an employee to head off at the end of the working day and completely forget to close a window on their way out. And the fact that many workplaces contain a lot of expensive and often highly portable equipment means there are endless temptations for a thief, encouraging them to take their chances. So here are just a few pointers to keep in mind about ways we can all reduce the risk of burglaries during this and future spells of warmer weather. 4 ways to prevent opportunistic theft at home and at work
  • The most obvious one – if you aren’t within sight of them, keep external doors and windows closed and locked. While it’s easiest for a burglar to access windows and doors on the ground floor, don’t forget that dustbins and wheelie bins can be used as mobile platforms that provide access to other windows and even skylights. In the same way, ladders or scaffolding situated around your property can help thieves access windows left open higher up. So wherever possible, lock away or chain up any equipment that has the potential to be used that way.
  • Be aware of items left within easy reach of open windows. Even if you’re just leaving the room for a moment, move the item and shut the window. It doesn’t take long for a burglar to reach in and quickly grab something that might catch their eye like a phone, purse or bunch of car keys.
  • Consider installing motion activated lighting. It can be a useful deterrent that puts a burglar off taking their chances on an open window as dusk falls and visibility reduces.
  • Don’t leave keys to external doors visible in your property (although from a fire safety viewpoint, always have them close to external doors in case you ever need to get out of the building quickly). Burglars are keen to know they have an exit available if required. If you are out and they enter your premises through, for example, a small side window you’ve left open, it’s very likely they will go to a door that offers the best escape route for them and use your keys to open it so it’s ready for a speedy exit. They may also use your keys to deadlock other doors to delay you entering if you arrive back.
Of course, there are many other things you can do to secure your property all year round. Consider whether any locks on your home, outbuildings, garages, sheds or at your work premises need upgrading or replacing. If doors are looking tatty and poorly maintained, that can also attract a burglar to give them a try too. And if you have equipment installed that’s designed to protect your property, like intruder alarms or CCTV systems, make sure you get it serviced regularly to ensure it is functioning correctly. If you’d like to get some further advice about protecting your home or work premises from the risk of burglary, please do get in touch.