Keep your home safe this Guy Fawkes Night with our tips
While you’re out enjoying the fireworks on Bonfire Night, the last thing you want to worry about is the safety of your home. Unfortunately, 5 November is a notoriously popular night for burglars to try their luck as so many of us are out of our homes enjoying the festivities.
With the cover of darkness, loud noises and the certainty of lots of empty homes, it’s easy to see why Bonfire Night is appealing to thieves. Our data shows that, on average, claims for theft on Bonfire night are 7% higher than the rest of the month of November, so it's important to know how to keep your home safe.
Top tips on keeping your home secure this Bonfire Night
1. Keep your windows and doors locked
If you’ve got children, leaving the house in a rush to get out in time to see the fireworks can be a little hectic, but don’t forget about home security during the chaos.
Making sure all windows and doors are securely locked can be the simplest prevention against unwanted intruders.
Similarly, if you’re having friends and family round to your house for some Bonfire Night celebrations, it’s easy to forget about your windows and doors. While you may want to make it easier for guests to enter and leave your house, don’t make it too easy for burglars to do the same.
2. Make it look like someone is home
When you’re out of the house, one easy way to prevent any potential criminals taking an interest in your home is by making it look like someone is in. Keeping on a couple of lights and leaving the radio or TV on can be an effective way to make it seems as if your property is occupied, deterring burglars. If you’re worried about wasting electricity, timers are available that turn electrical items on and off to your preference.
3. Keep your most valuable items out of sight
One of the most important things when it comes to home security is making life as difficult as possible for any potential burglars. Keeping laptops, mobile phones, tablets, jewellery or any other valuables locked away will put off any opportunistic thieves and make it harder for any burglar who does try to steal from your home to do so quickly and quietly.
4. Make sure your home can be secured effectively
Significantly, your home security can invalidate your home insurance if you don’t have the right measures in place. This doesn’t mean you need high-tech security cameras and alarms in place, but you should ensure all your windows and doors are in good condition and can be locked sufficiently to make certain you’re able to claim if necessary.
5. Don’t forget about your car
Malicious damage claims increase largely around Bonfire Night, so if heading out on foot, be sure to leave your car securely in your garage or in a safe place at your house. If you’re going out to the celebrations in your car, think about where you park and ensure it’s somewhere safe.
While you’re out...
Keeping your home safe and secure while out on Bonfire Night is important, but don’t forget about your personal possessions when out of the house too.
If you’re in a crowd or at a busy event, especially when distracted by firework displays and other festivities, pickpockets often look to take advantage. Keep any valuables in inside coat pockets, hidden away or out of sight and try to stay wary at all times. Most of all - enjoy yourself!
Keeping your pet safe on Bonfire Night
For many animals Bonfire Night can be quite scary, particularly because of the noise of fireworks.
There are lots of simple ways to help your pet deal with fireworks and prevent any unnecessary distress.
You can keep your dog active on Bonfire Night by walking them during daylight hours to avoid being outside when fireworks are set off after dark.
Putting on the TV (here’s some inspiration!) to distract from the noises outside, along with keeping windows and curtains closed, should help your dog to feel settled too. You can also get therapy packs to teach your dog how to be less scared around loud noises.
If you’ve got a cat, try and keep them inside while it’s dark outside on Bonfire night. Like dogs, loud noises from fireworks scare cats easily and by creating some hiding places within your home where your cat can feel safe, you’ll minimise disturbance for your feline friend.
Other house pets
Any pets that usually live outside your home (such as rabbits) may need to be brought inside for the night if you think they may be frightened by fireworks. If you’ve got any pets that live in cages or pens within your home, partially cover these with blankets or sheets so that outdoor noises are muffled.
If you’re thinking about having a bonfire at home, you can find more information on the rules of garden bonfires here.
Get more tips for keeping your furry family members safe with our Pet Safety on Bonfire Night infographic.