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The summer months often mean easy pickings for opportunistic thieves. Properties are left empty when people go on holiday and windows and doors are left open. If you’re not on holiday then chances are you’ll be spending time in the garden making the best of the weather. It’s easy to see why rates of theft climb during the summer.

However with a bit of thought you can keep thieves out of your home. Even keeping front doors securely locked when you’re in the garden is effective at preventing opportunistic theft. Likewise be careful leaving windows open at night. If you really must, then fit window restrictors which prevent windows being opened more fully. And of course make sure both front and back doors are locked before you turn in for the night.

At any time of year, you shouldn’t leave valuables on display.  The sight of a laptop can be enough for a thief to force open even a small window. Ensure all windows have effective locks. Front and back doors (like our composite doors) should have locks that comply with current security standards.  And don’t forget your shed or garage. Thieves can raid these for tools that can either be used to break into your home or stolen since power tools, in particular, can be valuable. Many sheds for example have a simple padlock closure. Homeowners may be unaware that these are at best a deterrent since the fixing (rather than the padlock) is easily removed with just a screwdriver. There are also a number of ways you can security mark/engrave possessions such as bicycles.

If you’re going on holiday, as far as possible the house should look occupied. You can ask a neighbour to open and close curtains and possibly park on your drive. Don’t tell all and sundry on Facebook you’re away and cancel newspapers, milk and other deliveries.

Summer barbeques or just afternoons spent relaxing in the garden can signal to burglars your house is unattended. Many people leave their front door unlocked. All it takes is less than a minute for a thief to steal purses and car keys.

Finally, a high quality alarm, prominently displayed, will prevent most opportunistic theft. Prices vary dramatically, so get a number of quotes if you decide to install one.

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