New figures have revealed that November is the month when you're at most risk of being burgled. Last year burglaries soared 10% in November, and the amount taken in each robbery was up too - to £2,474.
The figures also showed the UK's burglary hotspots. So where are you most at risk, and what can you do?
HotspotsInsurer RIAS assessed half a million claims, to discover the towns in Britain with the most burglaries. They were:
6. Milton Keynes
They also found that November saw the biggest number of claims last year - and warned that the first week of December saw claims spike 25% too.
The number of people stocking up on goodies for Christmas pushed the average value of a claim up. The average cost of a claim across the year was £2,433 - rising to £2,474 in November. The items most likely to be taken were laptops, jewellery and cash.
And larger properties were the most likely to be targeted: 5 bedroom properties were three times more likely to be robbed than 1 bedroom properties - and they tended to take 127% more too.
Protect yourselfThe insurer is advising homeowners to take particular care as the long dark nights draw in, and issued tips on protecting your home.
- Back doors and windows are the most common points of entry, so when you're not using them, ensure these are kept closed and locked securely.
- Ensure that your valuables aren't hidden in obvious places. Do not store jewellery in the bedroom or spare cash in the bedside table, and don't leave valuables in a place where they can be easily spotted from an external window.
- At Christmas time, resist the temptation to display your presents in the window under the tree.
- Ensure that you fit a motion sensor light in hidden areas, such as by the back door. In addition, very visible burglar alarms and strong lighting can put a burglar off.
- Don't advertise your absence on social media. You may be excited about your holiday, but robbers will be too.
- Keep spare keys safe and out of sight. By keeping them on the hall table or in the kitchen, offenders have the chance to not only steal your household belongings, but also make off with your car.
- Ensure that gates, garages and sheds are locked; burglars will often try access points and move away quickly if they don't have any luck.
- Do not be tempted to put out a 'hidden' key if you ever find yourself locked out. There is no place impossible for burglars to find – don't make it easy for them!
- Mark your possessions with UV pens so if the worst happens, recovery may be easier.
Don't risk your prized possessions – get a home insurance quote now
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