› Forums › Neighbourhood Security › Clocks change this Sunday – Darker Nights – Security and Safety Advice
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Message Sent By Willie Clark
(Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, NWS Co-ordinator, Scotland)
“Darker Nights – Security and Safety Advice
As many folks look forward to an extra hour in bed this Sunday, criminals will be looking forward to the benefits that the cover of darkness in winter brings.
The following crime prevention and safety advice has been put together for you as a reminder of some good practice.
- Keep front and back doors locked at all times and keep keys and valuables out of sight and reach from cat flaps, letterboxes and downstairs doors and windows.
- Close, and ideally lock, all windows when you are not in – approximately one in four break ins still happen because doors have been left unlocked or windows left open
- If it’s dark before you get home, use timer switches to turn on the lights – change the times that the lights come on, to create the illusion that someone is moving around inside the house. Plug-in dusk-to-dawn lights are also popular and economical to use.
- Make sure your door is well lit and fully visible from the street – dusk-to-dawn lamp adaptors are available from DIY stores and again are cost effective.
- Check existing lighting is in good working order and replace any faulty equipment – remember to check batteries in torches and smoke alarms
- Keep shrubbery and hedges at the front of the house pruned to below one metre – remove any cover for a criminal to work unseen and give your neighbours every chance to spot something suspicious
- Keep curtains closed at night – if you are away, ask a trusted neighbour to close them for you, and open them again in the morning.
- Assess your property’s perimeter and check it is secure. Cut back overgrown hedges and repair broken fences and gates
- Secure sheds and outbuildings with good padlocks and consider fitting alarms. Lock all tools and ladders away securely
- On cold mornings, never leave your car unattended with the engine running to defrost the windows
When out and about
- When out in your car, look out for the safe Park Mark accredited car parks and remove all items from your vehicle when you leave it
- Don’t leave your keys in the ignitions, even when filling up with fuel or popping into the shop
- Plan ahead before you go out. Know where you are going, how you’ll get there, and how you’ll get back. Let someone know where you are going, and be prepared for a change of plan.
- When you are out walking keep to well-lit, busy areas, using the route you know best.
- Don’t be tempted to take short cuts that require you to stray from busy areas.
- Avoid quiet or badly-lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks.
- Remain aware of your surroundings – do not walk along texting, making a phone call or listening to music. These will distract you.
- Keep valuables out of sight.
- If you regularly walk home in the dark, get a personal attack alarm approved by Sold Secure – they are widely available and inexpensive
- Wear reflective clothing – this allows cyclists and cars to see you as you walk along, especially in low visibility areas. A flashlight or headlight can also help drivers see you if there are dark stretches of road on your route.”
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