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It's good to know that, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), the trend for domestic burglaries has gone down in recent years.


The reason for this is a general improvement in home security, with householders taking greater measures to protect their properties and increasingly adding security measures such as window and door locks.

As most burglaries are opportunistic, the incidences of burglary decrease as security measures become more sophisticated.

A few simple steps can help to protect your home:
  • Invest in a burglar alarm. The siren box alone can be a strong deterrent against would-be thieves
  • Always make sure your doors and windows are strong and secure, and fitted with good quality mortice locks
  • Ensure French windows are fitted with top and bottom mortice locks to stop them being opened with a simple pull
  • Do not leave spare door keys under the mat or in plant pots, and don’t leave window keys in the locks
  • Do not leave valuable items in view of windows which can let people see your valuable possessions
  • Lights deter would-be burglars so invest in motion sensitive lights or place exterior lights around your home

WEATHER-PROOF YOUR HOUSE


Bad weather at any time of year is increasingly common these days so don’t go through the hassle of claiming and paying a buildings insurance excess when a few simple steps can help prevent the need to make a claim. Ensure therefore you know how to protect yourself and your financial and sentimental prized possessions.

Whilst extreme storms are very rare, severe weather events are becoming more frequent and it’s an issue homeowners need to consider. Check the exterior of your home for signs of wear and tear; look out for loose roof tiles, blocked ground drains and that drainpipes and rain gulleys are clear.

If you have a flat roof that is more than 15 years old, examine it for potential leaks and weak spots as they do have a limited lifespan. If you have trees near your home, check for any loose branches and make sure they are removed.

Whilst severe weather in the UK is rare, below is a handy checklist of steps to take in the event of severe weather:
  • Ensure loose items outside are secured or stored inside. For example garden furniture, washing lines and TV aerials
  • Know where your water, electricity and gas supply points are in your home
  • Make sure that all windows and doors are shut, and locked where possible
  • Secure your car in a garage (if possible), but at the very least park it away from any objects including trees that may fall and damage it
  • Organise where your family and any pets will be during the expected storm, to ensure everyone is safe
  • Storms can result in power cuts, so make a storm kit which includes candles, torches, necessary medication, food, water and blankets etc
  • Make sure your mobile phone has been charged and is with you
  • Store your insurance policy and emergency contact numbers in a safe accessible place

If there is severe weather damage to your home, contact your insurer as soon as possible. The Association of British Insurers recommends that you contact your insurer within 24 hours. It may be that your insurer will require evidence of the damage and receipts for emergency repairs, so it’s good to be in the know. If you have your insurance through the Family Building Society, contact us.

If you have any questions on what you've read, please contact our friendly team on 03300 244612

Family Building Society
Ebbisham House
30 Church Street
Epsom
Surrey KT17 4NL
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