7 tips to keep your home safe on Bonfire Night

by Leeds Building Society

With the dark nights setting in and the colder weather on its way, what better way to spend time with friends and family than enjoying the bright lights and spectacle of your local bonfire or fireworks display. But while you're busy making plans to enjoy yourself, have you made plans to make sure your home is secure?

On Bonfire Night, many people are out of the house and noisy fireworks can provide a perfect distraction for criminals to get to work. Statistics from Aviva show that Bonfire Night saw a 21% increase in burglaries compared with an average day for the rest of the year1.

So whether you’re planning on venturing out or hosting your own event at home  follow our 7 top tips for keeping your house and belongings safe and protected this bonfire night.

1. Remember to lock your front and back doors

This may seem like a fairly obvious one but surprisingly 42% of homeowners admit to leaving windows unlocked when they are out of their homes!1 If you’re hosting an event at your own home leaving doors unlocked may be convenient for your guests but it can also leave your home vulnerable to unwanted visitors.

2. Make sure the right security is in place

Not having the right security in place could not only make life easier for burglars, but also invalidate your home insurance policy. Make sure all doors and windows are in good condition and that the bolts and locks are secure. If you have an alarm system, be sure to set it before you leave the house.

3. Ensure gadgets are out of sight

Valuable gadgets such as phones, tablets, laptops and handbags are a key target for opportunistic thieves with the most popular stolen items on Bonfire Night being iPhones and MacBooks. So make sure you keep your valuables out of sight and ask others to do the same.

4. Give the impression that someone is home

A dark, quiet house can send signals to burglars that no one is home so if you’re going out it’s a good idea to make it look like someone is there. Simply fitting a timer on a lamp or radio can often be enough to deter thieves.

5. Keep cars safe

Aviva data shows a 160% increase in malicious damage claims around October/November1, so make sure cars are parked away in a garage or safe place and remove any valuables or items which could be easily damaged or vandalised.

6. Avoid telling people you’re going to be out

Posting pictures or ‘checking in’ to locations on social media may seem like a good idea at the time but letting people know you’re not at home could open you up to being a thieves target. Find out more about staying safe on social media.

7. Check your home is covered

To give yourself piece of mind make sure you have adequate cover for your home and valuables should you be unfortunate enough to be broken into.

Home Insurance from Aviva

Through our partnership with Aviva, you can arrange flexible, straightforward home insurance built around you. Cover is simple and looks after your home and its contents, replacing new for old when damaged, lost or stolen.

You can also choose from flexible options to insure against accidental damage and to protect your things when you're away from home (exclusions and limitations apply).

Find out more about Home Insurance from Aviva

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References:

1 https://www.aviva.com/media/news/item/uk-its-hell-oween-for-homeowners-as-malicious-damage-and-burglary-claims-hit-the-heights-17691/

Buildings and contents insurance arranged by Leeds Building Society is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Limited. Registered in Scotland, number 2116. Registered Office: Pitheavlis, Perth PH2 0NH. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Registration number 202153. Aviva Insurance Limited may decline to quote in some circumstances.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal and/or insurance advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek legal and/or insurance advice if you have any questions or queries.