26 Oct 2017
As the clocks go back this weekend and the winter nights draw in, millions of homes could be left vulnerable to opportunistic thieves while their owners are working.
According to a survey of almost 4,000 people by home insurer Policy Expert, 5% more workers are getting home later – past 6pm – this year compared to 2016. There are approximately 32 million workers in the UK – this means there could be as many as 1.6 million people working later and leaving their homes unattended for longer. As the afternoons/evenings get darker, 14% of Brits say they are more concerned about leaving their property due to potential burglary whilst they’re at work.
The research also found that the average time to get home from work is 5.06pm. At present, that means people are arriving home in daylight hours. However as of Sunday 29thOctober it will get dark at 4.38pm, meaning that from Monday, homes could now be empty and unattended in darkness for 28 minutes. The length of time for which homes could be left empty in darkness will increase by a one to two minutes every day until mid-December when the average home could be left unattended in darkness for a full hour and 15 minutes.
Despite this, the research revealed that many homes do not have adequate security measures in place to protect them while they’re empty. In fact, more than a quarter (28%) of people don’t take any security measures to protect their home from theft.
Only two in five of those surveyed have timed lights and just a third have a burglar alarm fitted. Below gives a snapshot of the security measures homeowners are taking:
Adam Powell, from Policy Expert commented: “The winter months are a tempting time for opportunistic burglars. Longer nights and shorter days mean that there are more opportunities for crime to take place under the cover of darkness, so it’s important to remain vigilant and ensure your home is adequately protected. Any way to make your home look occupied or any visible deterrents, such as lights on timers, CCTV and burglar alarms should go some way in preventing a break in. Finally, check your home insurance policy to ensure it’s up to date and any valuables are declared to ensure you’re fully covered should the worst happen.”
Tips on protecting your home:
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