Consumers need to be even more careful about home security after the clocks go back this Sunday (30 October 2011). According to insurers Aviva, Halloween hooliganism and Bonfire Night burglaries increase the levels of crime around the UK.
The worst night for burglary
Aviva’s study found that the week from 30th October to the 5th November last year saw an average rise in reported burglaries of 26% (compared with the weekly average for the rest of the year).
And ten years’ of Aviva claims data shows a 28% increase in burglary claims on Bonfire Night – making it the worst night of the year for break-ins.
There are several reasons why burglars take their opportunities at this time of year. The shorter days give more chance to work under the cover of darkness.
And on Bonfire Night in particular, many people are out at public displays, and the noise of fireworks provides a distraction and means that suspicious sounds like breaking glass aren’t necessarily heard.
That’s why it’s particularly important to check that your home insurance policy is up-to-date and fully protects your belongings.
Keep it safe
Earlier this year, Which? investigated various ways in which consumers could keep their valuables safe. We found that a home safe is a cheaper alternative to a safe deposit box at a bank – but you need to weigh up the security pros and cons.
For example, home safes have high-quality locking and can be armour plated, but they won’t benefit from levels of security that safe deposit boxes offer, like CCTV or external alarm systems.
Top tips to avoid becoming a target
To avoid being targeted by criminals at this time of year, there are various simple steps you can take:
- If possible, put the car in the garage overnight.
- Don’t feel you have to answer your door to trick-or-treaters if you don’t want to.
- Make sure sheds, garages and other out-buildings have robust locks.
- If you’re having a fireworks party in your garden, make sure your front doors and all windows are shut and locked
- Which? Recommended Providers – the best home insurers as rated by Which?
- Contents insurance explained – we show you what your contents insurance policy should cover
- Keeping your home secure – Tips to help you beat the burglars