It’s hard to believe that it’s May . . .

Spring’s in full swing and summer isn’t far behind. It feels as though 2014 is flying past. Like most people, we’re looking forward to the warmer weather that lies ahead.

Burglars and thieves are also relishing the sunnier days on the horizon. It’s an unfortunate fact, but as the temperature starts to increase, so too do opportunities for intruders.

This is the bad news. The good news is that, with a little thought and common sense, it isn’t difficult to reduce the risks and avoid becoming a victim.

Most burglars and thieves are opportunistic. Make life a little more difficult and they’ll look elsewhere. This isn’t complicated and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

It’s quite understandable that, having endured the cold, dark winter months, you’re keen to head outdoors as soon as possible. Leaving doors and windows open and unsecured, however, doesn’t make sense. Research suggests that 94% of households leave a window open when the home is unoccupied. Such things serve as an invitation for a prospective intruder.

It isn’t just the house that should be secured, but gardens (and items in them) also . . .

Got a shed? Make sure it’s locked. Got a gate? Keep it closed. Broken fence? Get it mended. Back gardens are often the most vulnerable part of the home. Burglars able to gain access can, their activities hidden from plain sight, do untold damage and cause immense distress.

Gardens that look difficult to access are often avoided. Those that are left unsecured are always at risk.

Think about the things that tend to be left in gardens. Ladders should be locked up before burglars put them to use, whilst bins should be secured as these can offer intruders a leg-up. Bikes, barbecues and garden furniture are all expensive items, yet often such things are left unattended and available for the opportunistic to take. Recent research suggests thefts from outside the home increase 40% during the summer months. This is a figure that can be reduced rather easily. It just requires us to be aware, vigilant and, above all, to be sensible.

Don’t leave doors and windows open. Ensure locks are up-to-date and effective. Secure gardens. Don’t leave valuables unattended.

There are some excellent padlocks and other such products available and crime prevention advice isn’t hard to find.

Yale – for instance – have just launched a summer campaign based on just this subject. It pays to read up and do a little research. It pays to be prepared.

Here at William Channon, we’re always on hand to provide help, support and advice so please feel free to give us a call should the need arise.

Be prepared, be aware and don’t let crime spoil YOUR summer.