Top tips to protect your home and pets this bonfire night

Top tips to protect your home and pets this bonfire night

While you make plans to enjoy this year’s bonfire night with family and friends, many criminals will be taking the chance to get to work.

Our claims data shows that there are 22% more claims for theft on bonfire night than on the average night[1].

Plus, police forces have found burglaries can rise by as much as 57% during bonfire week compared to the rest of the year[2].

It’s easy to see why – as people hold parties or head out for the evening, houses are left vulnerable and appealing to thieves. So it’s even more important to take steps to protect your home.

 

While you’re enjoying Bonfire night, here are some top tips to keep your home secure

Lock your front and back doors

A survey of 2,500 homeowners found that when hosting a bonfire party, one in five people intentionally leave the back door unsecured, while one in ten intentionally leave the front door unlocked to make it easier for guests to come and go[3].

But while this makes life easier for you, it also gives entry to uninvited guests. So always keep your doors locked - even if you’re only out in the garden.

If you’re going out for the night make sure that, in the chaos of getting the whole family out the door, you remember to lock all your doors and windows – surprisingly only 37% of people remember to do this[4].

Put your gadgets out of sight Valuable gadgets are a staple in most home, and they’re a popular target among opportunistic thieves. Our data shows that the most stolen items over bonfire night and Halloween are iPhones and MacBooks[5], so keep your gadgets out of sight and ask your guests to do the same.

Make sure you have the right security If you don’t have the right security to protect your home, not only could it make life easier for burglars, it could invalidate your home insurance too. All doors and windows should be in good condition, with enough locks or bolts to secure them.

Give the impression that someone is home Crimestoppers claim that 58% of burglaries take place in the evening or at night. So if you’re going out[6] it’s worth making an effort to make it look as though someone is home, for example by fitting a timer on a lamp or a radio.

Keep your car safe We see a 70% increase in malicious damage claims around bonfire night[7], so make sure you bring anything inside that could be vandalised, and park your car in a garage or safe place.

 

Keep your pet safe

It’s not just your home that might need protecting over bonfire night. While you’re celebrating the evening, your pets could find the noise stressful and frightening. So here are a few tips to help keep them calm and safe.

Bring them inside where they can be closer to you and further away from the unfamiliar loud noises outdoors.

Let them hide away and make sure they have somewhere in the house where they can retreat to if they wish.

Take steps to reduce noises and flashes by closing windows and curtains and having some background noise like music or television.

Avoid taking your dog for a walk at the peak times of bonfire night, and don’t let them off the lead if they are likely to run away at the sound of any loud noises.

Play with your pet or buy them a new toy to distract them from the loud noises and flashes.

Give them a good meal in the early evening to help them settle down and relax.

With these hints and tips to keep your home and pets safe, we hope you have a fun and safe bonfire night. For further hints and tips from Aviva on keeping your home safe click here.

Did you know Aviva offer pet insurance? Get a quote at http://www.aviva.co.uk/pet-insurance for your dog or cat and save up to 10% online* *subject to minimum premium

 


[1] Aviva claims data from 2003-2012

[2] Based on FOI requests to 16 UK police forces on the number of reported incidences of Burglary in a Dwelling between 30 October and 5 November 2010.

[3] Aviva research commissioned with One Poll among 2, 500 homeowners about their habits and activities on Bonfire night from 24-27 September 2013

[4] Aviva research commissioned with One Poll among 2, 500 homeowners about their habits and activities on Bonfire night from 24-27 September 2013

[5] Aviva theft claims data between 31st October – 7th November in 2012

[6] Burglary offences recorded by the police, percentage change and rates by police force area, English region and Wales, 2010/11 and Strathclyde Police Annual Report 2011.

[7] Aviva claims data from 2003-2012

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