The shorter, darker days in January or February can make many of us feel down in the mouth.
But there's a certain section of our society that sees winter's long nights as a shameless window of opportunity – burglars!
So, with that in mind and with the mantra of 'it's better to be safe than to be sorry', here are some tips from www.police.uk to shore up your home's security:
- Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you're just out in the garden, remembering to double-lock UPVC doors (lift handle and turn key).
- Hide all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from the letterbox (crooks often use a device to hook keys through the letterbox).
- Install a burglar alarm – it's a great visual deterrent.
- Install good outside lighting – motion triggers work well.
- Join your area's Neighbourhood Watch if it has one.
- Leave radios or lights in your house on a timer to make the property appear occupied when you're out.
- Ensure any gates or fences around your garden are in good condition and not left open.
- Keep ladders and tools stored away; don't leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home.
- Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property, i.e. trim high hedges
- Remove valuables from the view of ground floor windows.
- Store high-value items (i.e. jewellery, passports) in a properly secured safe or bank vault.
We hope these tips give you and your family the peace of mind to enjoy the rest of the winter months.