Jul 16, 2014 Summer Break-ins happen so fast What’s not to love about summer? There are the long light nights; the warm(ish) weather; even occasional glimpses of the sun. And then, of course, there’s the summer holiday – the chance to get away from it all, somewhere where the sun always shine (unless, of course, you prefer the Lake District). Summer though also sees a huge increase in the number of break-ins and burglaries across the country, so we’ve asked Derrick Purvis, marketing manager of our security products sponsor, Avocet Hardware to guide us through the key steps of making your home secure for the summer. “Statistically, August has the highest number of break-ins of any month of the year and when you take a moment to consider this fact it’s easy to understand why. The weather’s warmer, the nights are light, the kids are off school, you’re spending more time thinking of your fast-approaching summer holiday and paying a lot less attention to home security – something that burglars across the country know all too well.” So Derrick, tell us more, tell us more, what should people do to stop their summer dreams being ripped at the seams? “The main advice we give to everyone about staying secure in the summer is simple – don’t forget the basics. “If you lock something up on a dark winter’s afternoon, why leave it unlocked on a light summer’s night? “Similarly, if you strive to make your home look occupied when you go out for a Christmas party, then do exactly the same when you go to your neighbours for that August bank holiday barbecue. “Thieves will take whatever opportunity they see – whether that means grabbing things out of a shed that’s been left open; climbing up a ladder left leaning against a bedroom window; or even stealing bikes or valuable children’s toys left outside while you’ve gone inside. “On top of these basics, most security organisations and police forces will advise a host of other tactics like trimming hedges so they can’t provide hiding places, ensuring post isn’t left unsecured and that alarm systems are fitted and function, and even the installation of security glazing. “We, as you’d expect, do urge everyone to consider their locks. The nature of the majority of locks fitted as standard in the UK is that most burglars can get past them in a matter of seconds. “And on top of that there’s the issue of sub-standard products being wrongly marketed as snap-proof or resistant solutions, meaning many people are under the impression their locks are secure, when in reality they aren’t. “Therefore, check what you’ve got fitted. If they’ve not got a British Kitemark with 3-stars underneath call your local locksmith and enquire about getting them changed so that at the very least they meet TS007 3-star standard. Although we would always advise people take one step more and buy the ABS TS007 3-star and Sold Secure SS312 Diamond accredited snap-secure lock – the safest retrofit cylinder lock on the market. “A one-key system is also worth considering, especially in the summer when keys are left in doors and doors are left open. With just one key in your pocket that fits all doors you can lock behind you as you go without needing to carry a whole bunch of keys with you. And what’s more, our one-key system covers not only door and window locks, but padlocks and even gate locks.” A useful infographic can be downloaded from our article on the Neighbourhood Watch website here showing the main areas that need to be secure to protect your home from burglars.