Bonfire Night is traditionally a fun and sociable celebration. Of course, we’re all aware of the dangers surrounding bonfires and fireworks and the need to take appropriate precautions with them, but there are also less obvious risks to be aware of on Guy Fawkes Night, including criminal activity.
Breaking and entering
According to Aviva, house burglaries increase by a staggering 22% on Bonfire Night, compared to a typical day. Car theft is up by 20% on the night as well, while there are 20% more motor accidents during the week that the clocks go back. November 5th is also the second worst night of the year for vandalism, with Halloween occupying the number one spot.
It’s thought that thieves take advantage of the distraction offered by longer nights and the number of people away from their homes, as they head to bonfire celebrations and parties. Not only does the dark offer cover for their nefarious activities, it also means that many houses are left unoccupied because the whole family has gone out for the evening.
The noise of fireworks is handy for thieves too, because it can mask the sound of them forcing an entry to a property. If the family dog starts barking to raise the alarm, neighbours might think it’s getting agitated because of the firework noise.
All in all, Bonfire Night is a bonanza occasion for burglars and thieves, whether they’re breaking into an empty house, raiding a parked car or simply picking pockets and snatching bags at a crowded firework display.
Safe as houses
If you’re all going out this Bonfire Night, don’t advertise the fact too widely. Don’t make public statements on social media, such as Facebook, saying where you are. If you’re hosting a party, don’t leave the front door open or post signs inviting guests to “come on in” or “go round the back.”
Whether you’re going out, staying in or hosting a party, keep all doors and windows securely locked. Put your car and any bikes away in the garage and lock that too. If you’re out, leave the house lights on and maybe the TV or radio, ideally tuning the latter to a talk show.
As well as taking these precautions, it’s a good idea to check that your insurance is up to date and that you’re fully covered for any eventuality, including theft, malicious damage and fire. Talk to Alan Boswell Group today if you’ve any concerns we can help you with, now or at any time of year.