This weekend in Aldershot the Christmas lights were switched on and although Christmas still seems a little time away, there are only a few weeks left.
For many of us, Christmas is a national holiday and therefore an opportunity to go away and see family and friends, even if it is just for a day or so.
Unfortunately, for criminals, it is an opportunity to steal, particularly burglary, so it is important, as always, to consider your home security if you are going away.
Depending on your budget, there are various home security items which you can buy and some of these, for example, security lighting, may require someone to fix it to your home, so now is the time to begin to think about it and make sure you allow time to make any necessary arrangements.
For those of you who may remember some of my previous articles on home security, you will know that my view is `simple is best` and this relates to low cost items which are quick and easy to arrange, but effective.
- Security lights are a must now we are into the winter months with extended hours of darkness. I would recommend a movement activated light at the front and back of your home.
- Gate locks if you have a side gate. Fit two, one at the bottom and one half-way down so that they cannot be easily reached by leaning over.
- Gravel pathways will make a noise to walk on and alert neighbours of someone being outside, but most importantly, they deter criminals.
- Timer switches – for me a must. Fit these to plug sockets for lamps upstairs and downstairs. Make sure they are in rooms where the light is clearly seen from outside. Giving people an impression you are at home will also deter criminals.
- Basic alarms systems – research the internet for these or visit a DIY store.
- Window and door locks. Re-assess what you have a fit extra one`s if necessary.
There are of course many other products on the market, so if you want to research these and see what is available for your on purposes, then you can do this, but the above points are things which are inexpensive and relatively easy to fit or obtain.
Don`t forget simple things too, like re-directing your post if you are away for an extended period.
Tell your neighbours and ask them to keep an eye on your home. This includes checking it too, so if your home has been burgled, they can alert the police.
Make sure your neighbour has a key to your home and you phone number so someone can reach you if necessary.
If you have a driveway, ask your neighbour to park a car on it if they have more than one.
Lastly, don`t forget security marking items of property, or keeping a list of what you have, including serial numbers and model numbers.
In the case of jewellery, make sure you have an agreed valued with the insurance company. Take pictures of it and do this with a ruler against it so it is easy to see what size it is.
Hampshire Constabulary promote the security company Immobilise and you can register with them for free and record all your personal property with them.
The police have access to the Immobilise database and can check if any items they seize are stolen. This provides an opportunity for the recovery of stolen goods and the prosecution of offenders found in possession of stolen items.
To contact Immobilise, you can access their website (https://www.immobilise.com). They also have an extensive range of security items for sale.