How to protect your home as burglaries surge this Autumn

monitored burglar alarms

 

The end of British Summer time heralds darker nights, trick or treating, gunpowder plots and bonfires. However, there are some masked villains who want more than a handful of sweets this Autumn. Did you know that burglaries surge by 35% at this time of the year? This article looks at burglary statistics and outlines steps you can take to protect your property, assets and loved ones – advice ranging from monitored burglar alarms to basic security measures to consider.

There were a 356,017 burglary offences recorded by the police in 2019/2020. However, business data from Neighbourhood Watch and the Co-Op insurance the insurer reveals that the number of theft claims increase by 35% in the months following the clocks going back, with November being the month when most burglaries take place.

Halifax reported a significant increase in claims for forced burglaries in the darker months of last year compared with summertime figures. As the nights draw in and we enter the winter months, Co-Op Insurance  warns people to ensure they have robust security measures in place to keep their homes safe.

How to secure your property when you are out

burglary

 

Keeping your home secure whilst you are out is crucial.  Police UK outlines some basic security steps to help keep your home secure:

  • close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes
  • double-lock any door (make sure your locks comply with BS3621 British Standards
  • make sure that any valuables are out of sight
  • keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap and hide all keys including car keys, as a thief could hook keys or valuables through even a small opening
  • never leave car documents or ID in obvious places such as kitchens or hallways
  • in the evening, shut the curtains and leave lights on
  • if you’re out all day, then it’s advisable to use a timer device to automatically turn lights and a radio on at night
  • set your burglar alarm
  • make sure the side gate is locked
  • lock your shed or garage

The West Midlands Police produced a thought provoking interactive game that allows you get into the mindset of a burglar and adjust your security considerations accordingly: Link

Don’t be complacent about security whilst you’re home

Most people assume that most burglaries happen when there is no-one home.  However,  alarming  new data released by ONS  reveals that domestic burglaries in England and Wales occurring while residents were at home have increased by 57% over the past 10 years. In fact,  the ONS data reveals that 64% of burglary incidents in England and Wales happened while residents were at home…

Sarah Applegate, Insight and Strategy Lead, Global General Insurance, Aviva, says:

“Our claims data shows that thefts tend to increase during the autumn and winter months, so it’s really not worth taking a chance. Simple tasks like locking doors and windows on both homes and outbuildings can significantly reduce the risk of being burgled. We’d urge everyone to get into the habit of locking up, even when at home.”

With so many people working from home at the moment, it is important to be vigilant in checking doors and windows are locked, especially windows in rooms of the house that are unoccupied while you are in another. A home security survey by Aviva revealed that one in four people don’t lock their doors when at home and 45% leave windows unlocked in unoccupied rooms. If you have one, setting your burglar alarm for parts of the house that you are not working in will give increased peace of mind.

Remember, an opportunist burglar can be in and out in seconds without you even knowing…until it’s too late!

burglar alarm monitoring

 

Why consider a monitored burglar alarm as part of your home security?

Of course, extra security measures such as external lighting, CCTV, locks, better security measures and making sure your neighbours can overlook your property entrances are important, but police also recommend home owners to install a visible burglar alarm as part of a suite of prevention measures.  In fact, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) estimates that there are eight million homes with alarms.

Burglar alarms (intruder alarms) are a visible deterrent making potential intruders think twice before acting, as well as sounding an audible alarm and/or notifying a remote alarm monitoring centre when someone has broken into a property.

Research has shown that burglar alarms act as an effective deterrent for burglars, making potential intruders think twice before acting. As well as sounding the alarm and/or notifying a remote monitoring centre when someone has broken into a property.  Police advise that alarms should be considered as an addition to physical security.

According to both London’s Metropolitan Police and a Which? survey of ex-burglars, you’re less likely to become a victim of burglary if you have a well-fitted and well-maintained burglar alarm system. That means fitting one is a worthwhile investment.

There are two main types of burglar alarm systems to consider, audible alarms and monitored burglar alarm systems:

Audible only burglar alarm system

Audible burglar alarms activate an internal or external siren to call attention to the property, they are not monitored remotely and rely on hoping the siren scares off the burglar or that your neighbours will come running or call the police. Some of these can  be set up to provide voice, text or email alerts to your phone, but you will have then to choose your next course of action.

It is important to remember that, whether you or a neighbour,  physically responding to an alarm call out carries with it a level of risk – including coming face to face with a burglar on the premises.

burglar alarm monitoring

 

Whilst acting as a deterrent, this is a type B security system and there is no guarantee of police response or attendance as laid out out in the National Police Chief’s Council document ‘Police Requirements & Response to Security Systems’. The police response will depend on the quality of the evidence received and if given may be significantly slower to the response given to Type A systems.

Remotely monitored burglar alarms

A remotely monitored burglar alarm system is categorised as a Type A ‘remote signalling system’  which sends a signal to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) such as Farsight which operates 24/7, 365 days a year and complies with the required accreditations – BS 5979 Cat II. Once the Alarm Receiving Centre is notified of an alarm at your premises, experienced security alarm operators will respond by calling keyholders and/or the police.

Security operator in action

 

Contrary to popular misperception, response alarms are not connected directly to the police, but to the ARC that will then then take the appropriate action. For a system to be alarmed with police response a Unique Reference Number (or URN) is required, which is issued by your local police constabulary for alarm systems meeting the required standards,  installed and monitored by companies who are approved by a UKAS accredited inspectorate accepted by NPCC/Police Scotland which include SSAIB which is the leading certification body for organisations providing security systems and services, fire detection and alarm systems, or the NSI.

If it is reasonably certain that an intruder has entered the premises, it will be flagged as a priority call with the police (level 1 – immediate response). However, if a system has three false alarms in a year – four in Scotland – the URN will be revoked by the Police.

How does a monitored burglar alarm work?

Contact Farsight 

If you would like the peace of mind of adding a remotely monitored burglar alarm system to your home security arsenal, or want your existing alarm monitored by Farsight, please get in contact with our Alarm Monitoring team here at Farsight.  Call us on 0845 371 0101 or drop us a line here if you would like a no obligation quote or have questions: Contact us

If you need an accredited security installer, we can help.  As a leading ARC in the UK, Farsight will be happy to recommend the right installer for you, selected from our list of trusted security installers.

Will “PSTN Switchover” affect your existing alarm system?

If you are considering installing a new monitored burglar alarm system, or have a legacy system in place that primarily relies on using your phone line – things are changing.

BT announced in 2015 their decision to switch off PSTN services and move to ‘all IP’ by 2025, including stopping any orders for these services in 2020. This means a complete deactivation of the  PSTN lines – or no more copper wires.  So if your alarm signalling equipment relies on a PSTN phone line, then they will no longer be operational by 2025.

It is important to future proof your alarm systems, and as a leading Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), Farsight can only respond to alarms that we actually receive. It is important to ensure your alarm signalling systems are fully operational and reliable. If you need an upgrade to your systems we are happy share our advice – contact us here .

You can read about the latest alarm signalling devices that Farsight can provide from our partners BT Redcare and CSL Dualcom Pro here:

> Time to future proof your alarm systems with CSL DualCom Pro

> PSTN Switchover – the Next Generation alarm signalling products from BT Redcare

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