Bonfire Night warnings as burglaries surge in November

As the nights draw in, UK householders are being warned to beware of burglars, with research showing that November is the worst month for break-ins.

A Freedom of Information request from insurance company LV= has revealed that there is a domestic break-in every two minutes this month, with ground floor flats at most risk - indeed, they're 48 percent more likely to be burgled. Semi-detached houses and upper-floor flats are safest.

The most dangerous time is between midnight and 1.00 am - although, generally, the middle of the day is also popular with burglars, with 31 percent of incidents taking place between 11.00am and 5.00pm. One in three takes place while the victim is home.

"Burglary is still a major problem in the UK. Being burgled can be very unpleasant and more often than not, victims are not reunited with their stolen possessions," says Selwyn Fernandes, managing director of LV= home insurance.

"In light of this research, we urge all homeowners to review their home security measures to ensure they don't fall victim to this horrible crime. Keeping doors and windows locked, and making sure your keys and valuables cannot be seen through the windows can help reduce your risk of being burgled."

Tuesday will be particularly dangerous, says insurance company Aviva, which has compiled its own survey of claims. There are 22 percent more thefts recorded on Bonfire Night than on the average day.

Part of the reason, says the company, is people's casual attitude, with one in five households leaving the back door unlocked and nearly two-thirds failing to close windows before heading out into the garden.

"The crash and bang of fireworks under the cover of darkness gives opportunist burglars their best opportunity to target your home," says Heather Smith, Aviva's director of home insurance.

"But those planning fireworks parties in their own back garden shouldn't think they'll be safe from thieves. It's easy to leave doors and gates unlocked so that people can come and go as they please – including burglars."

The most-stolen items at this time of year, says Aviva, are mobile phones and laptops - Apple products are particularly popular with thieves. The LV= data shows a similar pattern, with cash and jewellery also frequently stolen.

Both companies warn householders to keep doors and windows locked, leave a light on and make sure valuables can't be seen through windows.

Factors damaging property value

Factors damaging property value