As we enter Autumn and the dark evenings are fast approaching, we prepare ourselves for Halloween with stocks of candy for trick or treat and fake blood to complete our perfect fancy dress outfit. With all this preparation most people get caught up in the fun and forget to think about their personal and home security throughout the day. This is why we encourage you to think about the burglars that aren’t in a costume but planning to leave you a trick rather than a treat.
Some households are not fans of Halloween, so they will set up camp in one room, turn off all the lights, close the curtains and stay quiet to stop kids thinking they are home. However convenient this may seem, it can actually put your home and yourselves at risk. If your house is dark people will assume you aren’t home, maybe out trick or treating, and therefore your property becomes a convenient target in the cover of darkness. Not only can this lead to an attempted burglary but if they find you are at home and you get in the way, it could result in an aggravated burglary. As always it is better to make sure your home is well lit, even whilst out trick or treating, to create a sense of mockupancy, and you can also invest in a sign saying you don’t participate in Halloween if you don’t want any door knockers.
On the other hand, you have people who love Halloween and embrace every minute of the festivities; hosting parties, handing out treats and decorating the house. When decorating the house, it is important to make sure no entrances are concealed and all items are secure so they can’t be used to gain entry. If you are decorating, incorporating lights into your display will increase the visibility and draw attention to your home making burglars less inclined to target you so make sure your jack-o’-lanterns are lit. You should also remove all the decorations within a couple of days after the event or people may think you aren’t home to clean up, making your property vulnerable once more.
During the fun it is easy to get distracted from your normal instincts when it comes to your safety. This time of year can subject a number of homes to distraction burglaries where someone steals items when the resident is occupied by another task. For example when someone asks to use your toilet whilst they’re out trick or treating, they could go to your kitchen and grab what is in sight whilst you are busy talking to their friends at the front door. You should never let a stranger into your house especially when you’re alone. Remember whenever you answer the front door to make sure the back door is locked so no one can enter whilst you are busy. Also ensure all your valuables like handbags, wallets or keys are stored somewhere safe and out of sight away from the front door or windows.
All the scary stories and horror movies can make you scared of being home alone, but don’t let anyone call you a wimp because being with people on Halloween is actually your safest option. In many cases of burglary, vulnerable people on their own are the most targeted. For this reason, on a night where strangers are constantly approaching your door, it is better to not be alone. This is the same when you go out trick or treating. You should always be in a group and children should be accompanied by a responsible adult to ensure their personal safety. It is also encouraged that parents check the treats they bring back as some people have found dangerous items mixed in with the sweets.
Unfortunately, the monsters do not disappear after Halloween and taking control of your home security is not seasonal. The hallowed eve may come and go very quickly but it is not a night to be ignored even if it’s just for your safety rather than the celebration itself. Remember these guidelines on how to have an enjoyable evening without putting yourself or your home at risk on this, or any other, day.
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