Remember, remember the fifth of November - Worst night of the year for household burglaries

Article date: 2 November 2006

With thousands of people attending fireworkparties this weekend, Norwich Union Insurance is calling on allhomeowners to ensure their property is safe and secure this BonfireNight.

Not surprisingly, 5 November is one of the worst nights of the yearfor accidents with fire and fireworks – our figures show thatclaims increase by 50%* compared to an average day.

But it’s also the worst night of the year for burglary.Norwich Union’s theft claims increase by 25%* on BonfireNight.

Homeowners unwittingly give thieves easy access to their homes andvaluables while they are out enjoying public firework displays, oreven hosting their own firework celebrations in their backgardens.

Jason Harris, senior claims manager at Norwich Union, says:“Unfortunately, Bonfire Night is historically one of the mostlucrative nights of the year for thieves. Homes are empty, it'spitch black and the noise of all those rockets, screamers andflares gives burglars the perfect opportunity to break intopeople’s homes.

"Home security is often the last thing on people’s minds andwe know of many cases where burglars slip through open doors whilepeople are enjoying private firework displays in their backgardens. Our advice is to take time to ensure your home is safe andsecure before heading out this year.”

Norwich Union’s Bonfire Night tips

  • Leave the lights on if you leave the house for a public displayand ensure all doors and windows are securely locked
  • Ensure sheds, garages and gates have robust locks
  • Avoid leaving the keys in the lock inside when double locking– this will prevent burglars using the hook and canemethod through your letterbox
  • Keep your car keys separate from other keys and don’t putthem in an obvious place – today’s thieves oftenburgle homes just to get car keys to steal the car in the drive
  • Consider installing a burglar alarm either by an approvedcontractor or failing that by purchasing a system from one ofthe DIY chains. "Dummy Covers" are a deterrent but if you canafford it a real one is better. (It may also get you a discounton your home insurance)
  • Fit a motion sensor light which will work at any time whetheryou are in or out of the house
  • Never leave your back door open when holding a firework displayin your back garden
  • If you’re having a fireworks party with neighbours, takethe time to do a couple of checks of each other’s homesduring the course of the evening.


Press office contacts:
Chris Soult, Lexis PR,on 020 7908 6475 or

Rebecca Holmes, Norwich Union Press Office, on 01603 354 346 or07800 690 731

Notes to editors:

* Based on Norwich Union claims data from 1988 to2005

About Norwich Union
Norwich Union is theUK’s largest general insurer with a market share of around15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses.

It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment productsand one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers. FAsprovide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in theUK.

Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of images areavailable from Aviva's internet press centre at

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