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Make sure you’re as safe as houses this autumn

house at night

One of the UK’s leading independent insurance broking and risk managing firms is backing National Home Security Week, which runs from 24th to 30th September 2012 across the country.

East Midlands-based Russell Scanlan is already seeing a slight increase in the number of claims coming through from its private clients relating to burglary and theft. That’s only set to rise over the coming months with the onset of winter as the darker nights draw in.

And the problem could be compounded further, with some districts implementing their energy cost saving plans by dimming or switching off street lights overnight.

The latest Crime Survey figures for England and Wales show that over the last four years, there’s been an upward trend in household theft – particularly for items kept outside a property such as garden furniture.

Across the UK as a whole, from August 2011 to July 2012 alone, there were a staggering 511,313 reported burglaries (source Office for National Statistics / Police UK). But there are some obvious steps people can take to make sure they combat crime at their own front door.

Pat Towers, Private Client Development Executive at Russell Scanlan, explains: “As you’d expect, criminals often target homes where there are no obvious security measures. If it looks like no one is in and an appealing item such as your new ipad is on show, then you’re asking for trouble!

“Make sure valuables are tucked safely away from view. Lock that garden shed – you don’t want to provide an opportunist thief with full access to your tools to bash the back door down with. And fully secure all windows and doors, don’t just pull them closed.

“If you’re worried that’s not enough, think about installing a CCTV burglar alarm. It’s one of the best deterrents available on the market – aside from a dog! Shop around for the best price as it doesn’t have to break the bank.

“But if your budgets can’t quite stretch that far, it’s worth getting hold of some good quality locks for your doors and windows. A security light is also a great buy. If your home looks tricky to get into, and a burglar thinks they will end up in the spotlight for all your neighbours to see, they’re far less likely to attempt to get into your property.

“Finally, make it seem like you’re in – even if you’re actually not. Buy a few timers to automatically switch on lights and radios. Cancel the milk order and get someone you trust to pick up your post. If possible, park in your driveway.

“The main thing is to use your common sense and to remember that a little investment in a few security measures really can go a long way.”

National Home Security Week is supported by Crimestoppers and Age Concern. It aims to remind people just how simple it is to make your home safer and more secure for you and your family.

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