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Stay safe this Autumn

As the clocks go back, burglars come forward

Shorter days give burglars more time to work under cover of darkness. Halloween sees a 150% rise in malicious damage claims to homes, 50% increase in car damage and 20% rise in car thefts. Bonfire Night is the worst night of the year for break-ins. Burglars take advantage of people being out of the house, and the noise of fireworks cover up suspicious sounds.

With 80% of crime being committed by opportunists, make sure you follow these simple steps to reduce the worry of being a victim of crime: 

  • Remove keys from doors when they’re locked and leave them out of sight. Never leave a spare key outside or hanging inside a letterbox.
  • If you go out, ensure all doors and windows are securely locked. Make your house look occupied by leaving the radio/TV and an odd light on, it’s also wise to shut the curtains.
  • Move any garden ornaments, furniture, potted plants or bikes out of sight.
  • Don’t answer the door to trick or treaters if you don’t want to, and if you’re enjoying fireworks in the garden, make sure your doors and windows are locked.
  • Lock sheds, garages and other outbuildings with robust locks. This protects your equipment and prevents thieves from having easy access to tools or ladders which they could use to break into your house.
  • Fit exterior floodlighting with motion sensitive detectors, which will light up your garden and other exterior areas, warning off intruders.
  • Mark your possessions with your house number and postcode. Only use an ultraviolet marker pen when other methods would reduce the object’s value. Seeing a marked item may dissuade a burglar from taking it.


Stay safe on Bonfire Night

Every year, hundreds of people need hospital treatment after bonfire and firework accidents. We want to help you stay safe so here are a few simple precautions to take.

Sparkler safety for children:

  • Never give sparklers to children under five, and if you’re giving sparklers to an older child, make sure they’re wearing gloves.
  • Ask them to hold the sparkler at arm’s length while you light it, and once it’s alight don’t let them wave the sparkler near other people.
  • When the sparkler has gone out, help them to put it in a bucket of cold water straightaway.

Top tips for adults:

  • Only use fireworks that comply with British Standard BS7114.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box or tin, away from children.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, well away from the fireworks.
  • Don’t put fireworks in pockets or throw them.
  • Direct any rockets away from spectators.
  • Light fireworks at arm’s length with a taper. Then stand well back.
  • Never return to a firework once it’s been lit.
  • Don’t use paraffin or petrol on your bonfire.
  • Keep well back from a fire.
  • Make sure your fire is out and the surroundings are safe before you leave it.
  • Keep your pets indoors.


Better clear your gutter

  • Leaves, twigs and other organic debris can clog gutters and cause water to run over their edges.
  • This overflowing water can leave damage to fascia boards, brickwork and pointing, and can also cause penetrating damp, ground erosion and cracks in the foundation.
  • Your gutters might also start to leak and sag due to the weight of the debris and trapped water being heavier than what the gutters are designed for.
  • If water stays trapped in the gutter for a period of time, it may continuously be blown onto the fascia boards so they are constantly wetting and drying- which is a real problem if you have wooden fascias. At worst, rot can penetrate your roof’s eves.

All these problems demonstrate why it’s important to keep your gutters clear. If you’re not keen on getting up a ladder yourself, you can always use a professional to carry out gutter maintenance. 


For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Tel: 01494 455 655

Source: Aviva