Protect your home this summer!

As seasonal burglaries rise, we look at DNA marking measures

If you’re like your local Howden team, you’re ready for a summer of sunshine, fun and fresh air; whether that’s setting off on holiday, spending more time outside your home, or simply enjoying the season from the comfort of your garden. And hopefully the British weather is on board with our plans!

The summer months hold exciting prospects, but it’s this period that your home could also be more vulnerable. After all, leaving your home unattended more often during this season, our property could be at risk.

Let’s explore what items could be at risk, how burglars might access your home, and what you can do about it.

Why could summertime make your home vulnerable?

If you’ve got exciting plans for a summer holiday, you’re not alone. Travelodge estimates that a third of us have travel plans this year, with a quarter of people jetting off in search of sunnier climes.

And, even if you’re staying at home, you could still be vulnerable. As 76% of people with access to a garden spend time in it at least once a week, in summer we spend more time away outdoors. Summer parties, beer gardens, day trips, BBQs in the back garden. It’s all very idyllic; and burglars know they can exploit our more relaxed attitude.

The most common entry point for burglars is a door (67%), but shockingly, a fifth of burglars don’t even have to ‘break-in’. The doors are left unlocked, and they simply walk right in. Similarly, a third of the burglars who break-in through a window gain access as they’re unlocked.

Simply making sure your doors and windows are locked is a simple protection you can take, at no cost to you. If you’ve got old, flimsy locks, it’s worth replacing them for something sturdier and more secure. Yes, it will cost you, but considering burglaries between April 2022 and March 2023 resulted in £4,574 of property stolen, it’s worth the investment.

What items do burglars want from your home?

From this same time period, police data reveals that these items are most stolen by burglars:

  1. Money (including your wallet, purse or credit cards)
  2. Jewellery and/or watches
  3. Electronic goods (including computers, games consoles, and cameras)

But don’t forget, your vehicles, gardening tools and sports equipment, such as golf clubs, could all be lucrative steals for thieves. And they could be extra vulnerable if stored in a shed or garage, which has less protection or is occupied less often than your home.

Your data is also valuable to thieves; so stealing your laptop, computer or phone opens up a whole world of possibilities. Criminal gangs can hack into your devices, and gain access to your online banking, emails and more and exploit your personal information for their gain.

Many burglars are opportunistic and are looking out for tell-tale signs that a home is open or unoccupied. They can act swiftly, and be in an out within a minute, without you even knowing they’ve invaded your home.

Professional burglars will monitor and assess properties before breaking in, scouting for the information that tells them when you’re away or not paying attention. If you have no security measures in place, a career criminal could choose your home for their next target.

What can you do to protect your property?

As well as leaving you out of pocket, burglary also takes an emotional toll in its victims. Knowing someone has crept about the place you feel most comfortable is unsettling, to say the least. So how you can protect your property?

In the hot weather, it’s tempting to leave your windows and doors open to enjoy some welcome fresh air. But don’t leave windows and doors open/unlocked unless you can see them, and certainly don’t if you’re leaving home – even if you’re just nipping out. Similarly, make sure any garages, sheds or even leisure vehicles are kept securely locked.

If you are heading out on a daytrip, or on a longer holiday, use light timers to make your house look occupied, even when it’s not. And, in this social media age, keep your travel plans off social media until once you’ve returned home. Otherwise you could be signalling to burglars that your home is unoccupied and a prime target.

Thwarting the thieves

Protecting your home and its contents has never been more vital as there has been an estimated 8.4 million incidents of crime against households in the last year. Criminals know that DNA is the police’s most powerful weapon in convicting criminals, meaning the DNA fear-factor acts as a huge deterrent. We teamed up with Selectamark Security Systems plc to learn more and understand how SelectaDNA marking is making a huge difference.

Forensic marking is a technology that provides an irrefutable way of covertly linking property to owners and criminals to crime scenes. It allows for homeowners to simply protect valuables and property, in turn making them a far less attractive prospect to criminals.

SelectaDNA – a unique formula of DNA, UV tracer and microdots – is analysed by the same methods as all other types of DNA testing. This means that every laboratory, police service and court of law in the world will be familiar with and trust SelectaDNA technology.

Criminals view items marked with SelectaDNA as too ‘high-risk’ and are further put off from stealing them as they have little or no resale value.

Using SelectaDNA to mark your property is the ultimate theft and burglary deterrent, as it is proven to reduce theft and burglary by up to 83%. Through prominently displaying the window stickers enclosed in the Home Marking Kit, you can make sure thieves won’t even want to break into your home in the first place, as they know your property is protected.

Talk to your local team

If you’re not sure what level of home insurance you have, or want to adjust the value of your contents insurance, our experts are here to help. Simply pop into your nearest Howden branch, or give the team a ring.

Sources: ONS, Calder Security

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