How to burglar proof your home in the UK as insurers warn of spike in break-ins after clocks go back

ACCORDING to research revealed last year, as the clocks go back there is a rise in break-ins across the UK.

Here's how to burglar proof your home and ensure in the worst-case-scenario that you'll be covered by your insurers.

How does the clocks going back affect the safety of your home, and what can you do to protect yourself?

Home theft claims go up by 36 per cent in the five months of the winter clock setting, Co-Op Insurance found.

Winter darkness helps thieves hide as well as aiding them in spotting an empty house without lights on.

Leaving doors unlocked while popping to the shops, forgetting to set your burglar alarm and leaving a window open will all affect your insurance, Which reports.

Buy a light timer

While leaving a light while you're away may be a safe way of making your home appear full of life, it can run up electricity bills.

Not only that, you run the risk of blowing the bulb – which could see your home cloaked in darkness and end up attracting burglars.

A nifty way around this is with light timers for plug-in lamps.

This model from Amazon features an easy-to-follow twist timer, and comes in a pack of three for just £8.20.

However, make sure that the plug is well hidden otherwise a thief could spot that you are using a timer and the home is likely to be empty.

Install security lights

They may annoy you when stray pets or foxes set them off – but outdoor movement sensor security lights are essential if you own a larger property with many access points.

Many can have an adjustable distance detector while others can be set to turn on constantly when night falls.

This £9.99 sensor from Screwfix can be wired into existing outdoor lights to set them on when it detects movement.

Staying off social media while on holiday

Telling the world about where you are and what you're doing is not only annoying for your friends, but it also increases your risk of being burgled.

Someone who knows you and where you live could follow you on Twitter or Facebook and know when you are away from your property.

Telling the world about where you are and what you're doing increases your risk of being burgled.

Crooks who see your posts about being in a sunny place far, far away will only be boosted in their desire to break-in.

So try to avoid uploading your holiday snaps until you are back at home.

Take all ID with you

Identity fraud is another way in which burglars can cash in on breaking into your home

Not only do crooks want to get their hands on your expensive goods, but they also want your ID.

So it is highly recommended that when you travel, your take your passport, driving license and other important documents with you to prevent this from happening.

Don't keep valuables on display

It's easy to leave laptops, phones and jewellery lying around.

But a peeping burglar could spot these as he scouts out a potential target.

Investing in a safe for your home as a last line of defence for precious valuables is also advisable.

Stay on top of your gardening

A scruffy looking garden sends a message to burglars.

It suggests that you may not be at home very often, and that it could be worth them having a pop at getting inside.

Mow your grass and make them think someone is inside.

Keep sheds and other outbuildings locked

While it might be easy to remember to keep your home secure, other structures on your property still need to be looked after.

Your shed or garage usually contains valuable items like lawnmowers or power tools, which are still of value to thieves.

Unless you don't mind losing those, then it's best to keep outbuildings firmly locked and secure.

Keep car keys away from the letterbox

Inventive burglars don't even need to get into your house to make off with an expensive piece of property.

Using coat hangers or other easy-to-find utensils, a thief spotting your car keys near your letterbox could reach in and nab them without a sound.

To ensure optimum protection, get your letterbox filled and install a locked outside letterbox.

Use a recording of a dog barking

Burglars don't like dogs and dogs don't like burglars.

It will make them think twice about proceeding to try their luck by having a recording of a dog barking built into your alarm system.

Don't leave ladders outside your home

Ladders are an open invitation to burglars to try to break in through open or unlocked upstairs windows

It's always easy to leave the house with a window open when you're in a rush.

Bedroom windows are especially vulnerable, as it tends to be the case that once you leave the room in the morning you won't go back until the evening.

And having a ladder placed in the open outside your home prevents a golden opportunity for a thief.

It's best to keep them locked in a garage or shed.

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