At this time of year, many homeowners in the UK decide to step up their home security, spurred on by darker nights and houses full of expensive gifts wrapped up for Christmas.
According to a new report from Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch, people are being warned to ensure they have robust security measures in place to keep their homes safe. Business data from the insurer reveals that the number of theft claims increase by 35% in the months following the clocks going back, with November being the month when most burglaries take place.
Throughout the year, light fingered thieves are most likely to make their move on a Friday and, with November being the most common month for home break ins, Fridays in November prove to be a particularly popular time for burglars to strike.
Co-op’s claims data also reveals that people living in London are the most likely to be a victim of home contents theft with Carlisle and Manchester also being crime hotspots.
Of the 41% of UK adults who have been a victim of burglary, 28% said it happened during the night. 24% were targeted in the afternoon, 20% in the evening, whilst just 6% were burgled in the morning. When it comes to how burglars are breaking and entering, 33% broke down a door, 23% smashed a window and 10% gained access via a door or window which was accidentally left open.
For this reason, we would like to share the following top tips to protect our homes from possible burglary:
- Leave a light on when out or invest in a light timer.
- Install exterior security lights at the front and back of the property
- If possible, invest in a CCTV system
- Don't post locations on social media sites – holidays and so on
- Ensure doors and windows are locked
- Set burglar alarms
- Ensure sheds/outbuildings are secured
- Don't leave valuables on display
- Never leave car keys within easy reach of a letterbox
- Don't leave ladders outside your home
Colin Butler, Head Insurance at Co-op Insurance said: “Unfortunately, year on year, our claims data shows that darker nights lead to more burglaries. As the nights draw in, we’re urging people to be vigilant when it comes to their personal safety, as well as the safety of their home.
Our report unlocks the real issues that people are facing in their neighbourhoods, as well as the long-lasting impact this type of crime can have on victims. Our continuing partnership with Neighbourhood Watch has never been more important as we continue to encourage neighbours to look out for one another.”
John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch, commented: “It’s worrying that so many people have been a victim of neighbourhood crime. At Neighbourhood Watch, we believe that building strong communities where neighbours look out for each other is key to crime prevention. Being neighbourly and getting involved in your community brings long lasting rewards such as reducing fear of crime and making people proud of where they live.”
Image Credits: ID 125607184 © Igor Mojzes | Dreamstime.com
We thought we would use the opportunity of our latest blog post to make you aware of a recent scenario a member of our team encountered:
Our Lettings Administrator, Margaret, recently employed the services of a contractor to clean her oven at home. She was so impressed by the completed job that she explained that she worked for an estate agent and would happily recommend the company to our clients.
Upon hearing this the contractor asked, ‘how much would I need to add to invoices for Sealeys Landlords?’. Margaret confused by this asked the contractor to explain what he meant to which he replied ‘well for other agents who pass me work I have to add a percentage of the cost for the completed works to the Landlord’s invoice and pass the agent the percentage’.
Here at Sealeys we pride ourselves on a TOTALLY transparent service. We would never add fees to a contractor’s invoice, nor do we receive referral fees for any contractors or professional services we recommend. We would only put forward details of a company to assist you with your property if we are happy they will provide you with a good service and for that reason only. It is in fact a requirement of The Property Ombudsman that any referral fees are declared by the agent on their paperwork - so make sure you always read the small print.
Photo credits: ID 119892330 © Syda Productions | Dreamstime.com
We once again held our annual free history walk on Friday 25th October led by the entertaining and informative local historian, Christoph Bull. It was open for all interested members of the public to attend and celebrate the colourful history of Gravesend.
The walk entitled ‘Twilight History Walk – a guided walk through the sad and bad of Gravesham’ began after closing from our Headquarters in Parrock Street and culminated in a buffet for all attendees and served by Sealeys staff members. The walk was attended by around 50 people including Deputy Mayor & Deputy Mayoress, Cllr John Caller and Mrs Sue Caller. Walk attendee Suzanne Tate said ‘we so enjoyed the walk and buffet, it was a lovely original idea’.
Our Managing Director, Michael Alan Sears, said ‘the premise behind us holding free history walks each year is to promote our historic town to its residents and visitors. Christoph’s knowledge of the town is incredible, and he always makes it an entertaining evening for both our staff and attendees. Every year Christoph provides us with another theme and history we were not aware of. This time in particular it was great to learn about the many lost street names such as Peppercroft, Clarence, Wakefield and Kempthorne streets all of which existed until the 1960s that are now sadly no longer part of the town’.
Christoph said ‘as a local historian, wanting to promote the huge heritage of Gravesham and Dartford, it is fantastic to work with Sealeys as they are one of very few businesses that understand how the past and present complement each other.’
If you would like to take part in our next free history walk, scheduled for Spring 2020, follow our Facebook page or contact email@example.com to be added to our mailing list.