Halloween is here once again and while parents and kids go door to door trick-or-treating, the real horror for homeowners is returning to find they’ve been burgled.
Figures from insurance firm Aviva reveal that bulgary claims hit scary heights every year on Halloween – a more real and unsettling thought than any ghosts or ghouls haunting your neighbourhood.
The prospect of trick-or-treaters turning nasty can be a concern. Indeed, malicious damage claims soar by 160 per cent on 31st October every year, when tricksters take things too far. But burglars are a sinister fear lurking in the shadows that homeowners are often unprepared for. Indeed, Aviva found that 42 per cent of people leave their windows unlocked when they leave their home, allowing their properties to let the wrong ones in. One in five also confess that they “rarely” or “never” lock their windows, despite the fact that household theft claims typically climb on such long, dark nights of the year, when homes tend to be empty – Bonfire Night, for example, sees burglary claims rise 21 per cent.
It’s not just homes that people need to take care of, with motor thefts increasing 28 per cent on Halloween as thieves pick themselves a four-wheeled treat.
Simon Warsop, Aviva’s Chief Underwriting Officer, says: “Halloween brings out the tricksters looking to cause damage and thieves looking to treat themselves to a car. So it’s important to stay vigilant and take simple measures to minimise the risk. Put your car in the garage if you have one and tidy any garden tools or ornaments so they can’t be used to damage your property.”
There are a number of things homeowners can do to secure their homes every 31st October, whether it’s making sure you buy an actual haunted house when moving, so that nobody will ever want to go inside, or replicating the booby-traps of Home Alone in every room for a painfully effective thief deterrent. Hiring a vampire to house-sit, while you are out, is also a popular choice for homeowners in Transylvania.
For less dangerous, less expensive and less illegal options, consider the following easy tips:
1. If you have a garage, put the car away for the night
2. Don’t answer the door to trick-or-treaters, if you don’t want to
3. Use a timer-switch to turn on lights when it gets dark
4. Leave a radio on to make it sound like people are at home
5. Make sure sheds, garages and other out-buildings have robust locks
6. Double-check windows and doors before you leave
7. Turn on your burglar alarm, if you have one