Home security tips for the winter
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Home security tips for the winter

As the clocks go back and the nights draw in, it’s sadly the case that the British public come to experience an increase in house crime. Longer evenings and darker streets make homes easier targets for burglars, especially if you don’t have a good level of security. With a 20 percent increase in home burglaries during winter months, now is the time to invest in more advanced security, to ensure the safety of your house. The average cost of a winter burglary is valued at £1,746; a significant loss, but one which can be prevented for just a small, preemptive outlay.

 

Holidaying over the festive season?

If you are looking to have a winter get away this year then ensure that you take the necessary precautions to prevent burglary. There’s nothing worse than coming back from a brilliant holiday to find that you have had your possessions stolen. Below are some great tips for when you’re away.

– At all times, avoid talking about holiday plans on social media platforms. Burglars can use any information on the net to their advantage when they’re planning homes to target.

– Ensure you temporarily suspend any ongoing deliveries you may have e.g milk and newspapers.

– Take advantage of the Royal Mail’s keep safe service. The Royal Mail can hold your post for up to two months while you’re away.

– Alternatively, use a trusted neighbour to collect your post, park their car on your driveway and sporadically open and close curtains.

– Use automatic timer switches to turn your lights and radios on when it gets dark.

 

Day to day

As many as 70 percent of home burglary incidents have occurred in terraced houses over the past 12 months, with the 5th November having a 22 percent higher theft rate than an average day of the year.  However, there are still a variety of measures you can take to deter potential opportunistic thieves.  Make sure that you hide all your keys out of sight and away vulnerable areas, such as windows and the letterbox. When you head out on an evening, try leaving a light on inside, or a radio to make background noise and give the impression that someone is occupying the house. Other valuable  measures you could take include locking side gates, trim high hedges, keep fences in good condition, remove valuable items from windows, install good outside lighting and consider joining or forming a neighbourhood watch scheme.

 

Alarms and other safety devices

Alarm systems are one of the most effective ways at deterring potential thieves and it doesn’t have to cost too much!  The first thing anyone should remember is to lock all your doors and windows every time you leave the house (even if you’re just doing a spot of gardening). A visual burglar alarm is a great way of deterring burglars from your property, and you’re also statistically 2-3 times less likely to be burgled with this sort of security device (for an in depth look at the benefits of alarm systems, check out the advice from Global Security Experts). Finally, if you’re feeling extra cautious now that you know this time of year is a theft hotspot, you can install a form of CCTV.

 

Do you get extra vigilant with your home security through the winter? Let us know how you keep your home safe in the comments section below.

 

Photo Credit: Free to use image via pixabay.com

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Curtains, blinds and more: Five window coverings for your new home
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Curtains, blinds and more: Five window coverings for your new home

After months of planning, organising and waiting, you’ve finally secured your first home. You can see the light at the end of the home buying tunnel, and just want to get settled into your new place. One instant task will be to decorate your empty new home, and especially cover those windows and stop the annoying echo that comes with an empty home. We look at the best five options you have to block out the morning sunshine. 

  1. Blinds
    Blinds are the easy and cheap way to block out the glare through the window. While Venetian, roll up and vertical blinds are definitely not the most sturdy of options, they are arguably the most practical, needing very little upkeep. Easy to customise and available in every colour you could want, using blinds means you can easily match them up your rooms colour scheme. They’re easy to pick up at both specialist blind stores online and locally, along with being stocked by nationwide home stores such as Homebase, B&spacerQ and Dunelm Mill.
  2. Curtains
    The most traditional window covering, curtains are seen throughout every home in the country. Convenient, easily available and with prices ranging widely enough to fit any budget, it is easy to see why curtains are so popular. Often seen as more decorative than blinds, be sure to pick out a design that not only fits the colour scheme of your room, but blocks out the bulk of early morning light. The last thing you want is to be woken at the crack of dawn by the sunrise. Check these out at Next and Argos with styles to and prices to fit any budget. If you’re in need of some help, have a look at John Lewis’ guide to curtain buying for style, size and price tips.
  3. Honeycomb shades
    Working in a similar way to a roll up blind, honeycomb shades only differ in shape, allowing material to scrunch up and compact when opened up. Easy to fit, durable and available in a range of materials, you can choose your shades to suit your style needs. They’re great for making sure you get a full sleep, as they block out the whole window and stop those rays of sun bursting in. Check out Amazon for a range of honeycomb shades from as cheap as £20.
  4. Sheer curtains
    Better suited to living rooms and non-sleeping areas, sheers are a great way of getting the look of a curtain, but with a less substantial material. Even though the thin materials mean sheers allow light to flood through into a room, they manage to add an element of style to a room in which you won’t be sleeping. Sheer curtains make an ideal budget window cover due to their cheaper prices. Check out Ikea for a sheer curtains from as little as £7 per pair.
  5. Roman shades
    Merging the material feel of curtains with the opening style of a blind, roman shades can be used anywhere from your kitchen to your living room or bedroom. Cheaper than curtains and a more stylish choice than vertical slat blinds, roman shades let you block out the sunlight and personalise your room at the same time. Budget options can be seen through home ware sections of supermarket websites like Tesco, or for slightly more cash and greater style options, try the John Lewis’ range.

 

Special thanks to PanPote for the use of their image.

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