It has been revealed that poor home security in the summer leads to an “open season” for burglars in the UK.
British home makers are a risk of burglary, robberies and break-ins more during this time of year.
New data from MoneySuperMarket shows that you’re most likely to be burgled in August during the summer months.
The price comparison website analysed millions of home insurance enquiries over the last five years to reveal that August is the summer month when burglars target homes, with the data highlighting a 12 per cent increase for unwanted visitors, compared to July.
What is more, leaving a window open to stay cool could mean your insurance won’t pay out.
Leaving your window open or back door ajar while you go out – be it for five minutes or an hour – could be considered ‘contributory negligence’, resulting in your home insurance claim being void or not being paid in full.
Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “The summer months offer a unique window of opportunity for burglars.
“That makes it crucial to be extra vigilant, and to take the necessary steps to keep burglars at bay.
“In the heat of summer, it’s tempting to leave windows and doors open to cool the house – but this could mean you’re putting your home, belongings and even yourself at risk.
“You’re also in danger of making your policy ineffective in the event of a claim.”
How to keep your home safe from burglary
1. If you can’t see a door or window, don’t leave it open
Never leave a door or window open that you can’t keep an eye on.
It’s an open invitation to intruders and even if you have a good home insurance policy, the insurer might refuse to pay out if there was no actual physical break-in.
If you want to leave bedroom windows open at night, install restrictors so that they won’t open wide enough for someone to climb through.
2. Don’t get security back to front
If you’re spending a sunny afternoon in the back garden, remember to make sure the doors and windows at the front are secure.
3. Keep valuables out of sight
Even with your windows and doors closed, any valuables you leave on display can be incentive enough for an intruder to break in.
Car and house keys need to be kept well away from doors and windows, and expensive electronics should never be left just a smash and grab away.
4. Flummox a burglar
Thieves often target garden sheds because they tend to contain valuable tools and are relatively insecure.
Throw a spanner in the works by swapping the screws that secure the hinges and locks with tamper-proof versions.
One-way, hex-head and Torx screws require special tools to remove, which a casual burglar is unlikely to carry.
5. Put the post on hold, cancel the papers
If you’re going away for an extended period, a visible build-up of post on your doormat tells burglars your home is a soft target.
Give a key to a trusted friend, relative or neighbour who can collect it all and store it for you.
6. Put on a light show
Give would-be intruders the impression you’re still at home by installing timer switches on your lights or, better still, use wifi-enabled lights you can control remotely using your smartphone.