On Sunday 25th October the clocks in the UK will go back an hour, marking the end of British Summer Time. As Brits brace themselves for what’s set to be a long winter, thoughts are turning to dark and cosy evenings. Sadly, this also signifies our houses becoming more vulnerable to burglars.
New research from leading security product retailer, Safe, has revealed that nearly three quarters of the nation (70 per cent) know someone who has been burgled. In addition, half of these people have actually been burgled themselves.
National statistics show that 188,792 domestic burglaries took place in England alone between July 2014 and June 2015*, yet only 21 per cent of the UK protects possessions in a safe, and in some regions as few as 12 per cent of people secure their home with a burglar alarm.
Why, then, is the nation failing to install alarms or safes? One of the key factors in not having security in place was cited as cost, yet the men cited important documents as the worst thing they could lose in a fire, and women were most worried about losing photos or keepsakes – both with intangible value. Despite these concerns, when it comes to protecting our homes and possessions we seem to have developed some bad habits:
· A third of people have left windows open
· 28% have forgotten to lock the back door (35 – 44 year olds are the worst offenders)
· Almost 10% have left the back door wide open (over 55s are most cautious at only 5%)
· 6% had left a key under the doormat or in a ‘safe place’ (an easy win for burglars)
· Men are twice as likely to forget to set their burglar alarm
Anthony Neary, MD of Safe, commented, “It’s clear from the research that, as a nation, we are guilty of some pretty bad security traits. It seems to be a common misconception that security is expensive, but we see some parents buying starter safes for as little as £30 to keep their children’s keepsakes protected – these things are priceless! As the festive period approaches, police bodies and neighbourhood watch schemes are beginning to raise awareness so there’s lots of information out there for anybody who needs guidance.”
Looking ahead to Christmas – and the piles of presents now synonymous with the time of year – the research revealed women to be significantly more safety conscious than men. Less than a quarter of men said they hold off putting gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve to detract potential burglars, in comparison to 36 per cent of women. As part of National Home Security Month, Yale has been offering some hints and tips to help homeowners secure their homes and most precious possessions, now and in the lead up to Christmas.