It is never too late to take precautions to raise the safety level in and around your home. During winter, insurance claims peak every year. Generally, winter is regarded as the season where many more things can go wrong with maintenance of a property. Home burglary rates climb in winter, home accidents increase and home systems are pressured beyond capacity.
Insurance companies have accumulated years of data about what goes wrong during the winter. Everybody involved would like to see these claims reduced, so it is certainly worth analysing their insight in particular.
Of course, the first recommendation is to understand the risks that winter presents and have proper insurance to meet the risks. That said, let’s examine their experiences;
Home Burglaries – Home burglaries are proved to spike upwards during the winter months. Under cover of added darkness, burglars use the opportunity to break in before homeowners return from work or when residents are on vacation to warmer climates.
Martyn Foulds of Halifax Home Insurance reports, “Most burglars are looking for an easy target and the cover of darkness makes life simpler for them”…
“It is not only the financial loss that we want to protect people from, but also the distress caused by knowing a stranger invaded the home.”
Indeed, the stress and emotional trauma of a home burglary can be traumatic. Insurance companies suggest the following security tips:
- Locks Doors and Windows – It is amazing how many homeowners are careless with this basic security measure. Always lock doors and all windows, including above ground windows. Many homeowners take extra security measure with windows and sliding glass doors, including adding security bars to discourage entry.
- Use a Safe – For your valuables, a safe is a terrific idea. Keeping jewellery that is rarely worn but which has value in a safe deposit box is another security measure. Insurance companies often offer discounts to homeowners with safes to store valuables.
- Time-switch Lights – If you travel or get home late, why not purchase a few timer switches to turn lights on when dark sets? At the same time, insurance companies think it sound policy to draw curtains and drapes. This will prevent prospective burglars from studying the interior of the home.
- Refrain from Hiding Keys – If we assume burglars are watching the house, we realise we should not hide keys to the home outside the door. It is better to leave a spare key with a neighbour and to make sure all residents have their own key and never lend it out. Insurance companies warn about allowing contractors to have keys to enter the residence when work is needed.
- Add a Security Alarm System – Today’s security alarms address all the features that burglars hate; light, noise and video devices. Adding flood lights activated by motion around the home’s perimeter increases the effect. Alarms draw attention to the burglary in progress and recording camera make identification a real rick for the perpetrator. Today, you can have recording cameras programmed to transmit images to your mobile phone, laptop, or tablet. Additionally, the alarm system can sent a notice to the local authorities who will respond quickly. An added benefit of today’s security systems is that they can recognise and alert residents of fires or even high carbon levels or gas in the air. Insurance companies make allowances for homes with modern security systems.
- Light Entryways – Make sure all doors, are well lit. Use flood lights to discourage burglars.
- Keep Yard Organised – Keep shrubs trimmed so burglars cannot hide in the shadows and make sure all furniture and equipment is put always and secured for the winter. If you have a combination to your doors or garage, change the entry password regularly.
Preparing The Home For Winter – Maintenance
Before winter begins and at least once during the winter period, it is a good idea to check your roof tiles. Ice can damage the tiles and cause expensive and extensive damage through rook leaks.
Check the seams and insulation in your piping system. Be sure to turn and drain outdoor water spigots and the sprinkler system if you have one.
Importantly, have our boiler checked at least once a year and definitely before winter especially. The simple tack of changing the filter can increase your home’s heating efficiency and reduce any chance of a boiler failure.
Remember to secure the garage and lock the door from the garage to the house. Burglars are looking for easy access through the garage that includes through garage windows. For some reason, many homeowners do not feel this is an area of the home and are careless about the security.
Every season, run a security and safety check of your home. Take the time to inspect the condition and security protocol. Making a few minor improvements can save a lot of heartache down the road.
For more information about protecting your home during the Winter period, call 01608 641 670 or contact us online today.