Rotherham Home Security After Lockdown Ends
Right, well it’s nearly Easter and hopefully the slight relaxing of lockdown means we can enjoy it a bit more than we might have otherwise done. We’re still in a long process, and who knows what the rules are now – I think we’re allowed to swim outside as long as we’re accompanied by our mum and a full meal, but not if there is someone else in the lake with a longer surname. As I say, it’s a bit confusing but, just like the extracting of the Ever Given from the Suez canal we’ll get there eventually.
It’s been a long wait for a bit of normality, and in general it’s great news for us all. But then I come along to inject a bit of caution into proceedings. And no, “Caution” isn’t the new brand of vaccine that’s coming out soon. My caution isn’t related to the health situation – I’ll leave that to the Chief Medical Officers and the like, but rather about the catching up that burglars have to do when we eventually leave our homes.
I was checking out some crime statistics the other day, because that’s just how I roll, and discovered that in 2020, the average burglar (if there is such a thing) lost out on around £13,000 compared to 2019. This was due to a 20% decrease in burglaries overall, meaning law abiding householders kept over £100 million worth of their property that would otherwise have been taken by criminals. I guess there has to be at least one good aspect to lockdown, and this appears to be it.
What this means for 2021, however, is that as soon as we’re able to leave our houses, there are burglars out there desperate to make up for lost time and earnings. Most experts are predicting a boom in burglaries as lockdown ends. Given this, I’ve pulled together some tips to bear in mind in order to reduce the chances of you being one of these victims of burglary. And hey, it’s just in time for Easter too, so you’ll have a couple of extra days to get it all sorted out.
Why not start with the outside, especially if the nice weather continues. Has your bush got out of control over the winter? (Oh come on, behave.. I don’t mean that!). It’s fine having plants, especially prickly ones, as they can be a deterrent to burglars, but overgrown hedges and bushes at the front of the property can be an ideal hiding place for burglars to avoid detection from the road. Take the opportunity to consider if this is the case and if you might be better trimming back. Whilst you’re outside, check any gates you have too. Are they secure, and could they be fitted with locks to prevent an intruder gaining access down the side of the house or into the back garden? If you’re spending the Easter weekend doing work, make sure all tools are shut away at the end of the day too…. these can be very tempting to burglars.
Within the house itself, now is a good time to check that your locks are of sufficient quality to withstand the continued scourge of lock snapping. Burglars can snap a lock in seconds, and are constantly looking for houses with poor quality or outdated locks which are susceptible to the practice. As such, updating these locks to newer anti-snap locks is essential on any external doors – don’t concentrate purely on the front door if you have a back or side door that could also be a target. If you have any windows that are accessible, check that the locks on these are working and being used. And also avoid complacency when it comes to locking doors and windows – don’t think that just because you’re leaving the house for a couple of minutes that it doesn’t need to be locked. Sadly, burglars are always on the lookout for an easy job, and to make matters worse, leaving your property unlocked can often invalidate your home and contents insurance. If you need a quote for new locks, as a local Rotherham locksmith I can offer great new home mover lock packages.
One last thing about locks – if you’ve just moved into a house, one of your most important tasks should be to get the locks changed, as you have no idea how many copies of the keys are floating around out there. Getting a new set (and also ensuring they’re up to the latest standard) is a must.
There are costlier steps you can take to protect your house this year, and it’s best to think of these as investments that will pay you back over the years. These consist of burglar alarms and CCTV. The former should be regularly maintained, tested and serviced, and the latter come slightly more affordable now with the advent of video doorbells and the like that stream directly to your smartphone. Both of these are a real deterrent to burglars, and will hopefully convince them to move on to the next, easier target.
If you can’t afford the above, then there are other things to do that are entirely free of cost. Keep valuables out of sight so they don’t prove a temptation to any passing burglars. This especially goes for car keys which can be hooked through a letter box, or grasped through an open, or smashed window, resulting in a car being Gone in 60 Seconds, to quote the film. Other steps include doing all you can to give the impression someone is at home – perhaps letting a neighbour borrow your drive when you’re away, or using timers to switch on lights at random times, and also refraining from advertising your absence on social media if you do manage to get away for that first holiday for over a year! Criminals do trawl Facebook and Instagram and the like looking for clues like this, so do be careful.
We’re all hoping this will be the last time for the lockdown, and as it ends, it will take some getting used to. Some of us will have forgotten what a pre-lockdown world was like, and maybe be lax in taking the security steps that we would have taken before it all began. Hopefully these tips will serve as a reminder. Unfortunately, it’s pretty inevitable that burglaries are going to go up this year, so all you can do is the best you can to make sure your house isn’t an easy target.
For any assistance with Rotherham locksmith or security issues, call me on 07990573857.