Based on the fact that illegal activity spikes at Halloween, it’s clear that it’s not just witches and ghosts that come out during the spooky season: criminals do, too.
The longer nights of autumn coupled with the Halloween and Guy Fawkes festivities are ideal grounds for opportunists seeking to steal or vandalise.
Over the years, pranksters have come up with a number of creative ways to vandalise homes, from egging to TP-ing (throwing toilet paper over your house) and, unfortunately, much more. While these pranks are annoying and do involve some degree of cleanup, they’re usually relatively harmless.
But not all pranks are. Theft, broken windows, fires – these are all activities which we see more of over Halloween, and they’re much more difficult to resolve.
To deter potential pranksters from taking it too far, consider installing motion sensitive lighting at the front of your house so you can get a clear view of whoever goes there.
Not everyone’s a fan of strangers knocking on their door and asking for things, and that’s OK. You don’t have to answer the door to trick or treaters, but you won’t want to make the common mistake of turning off all the lights inside your house. People do this to fool doorknockers into thinking no-one’s home, but doing so could also encourage thieves. Instead, make sure the lights are on inside, and don a pair of headphones if the knocking is getting to you.
If you’ve decided to embrace the spirit of Halloween by putting a pumpkin outside, make sure you’ve opted for an LED tealight rather than a real one. Standard tea lights pose a fire hazard not only to young trick-or-treaters but also to your home. A big gust of wind could knock the pumpkin and tealight over, leading to a potentially dangerous situation.
It’s all good and well making sure your house is protected, but don’t forget about any valuables outside your house!
You’ll want to make sure that any valuables kept in outbuildings, e.g. sheds and detached garages, are securely locked up. You’ll also want to secure any property which usually lives outdoors but isn’t fixed to anything, like garden ornaments. Consider bringing any wheelie bins that usually live outside to your back garden, if that’s a possibility. It’s worth investing in high-security locks to make sure your belongings are safe, but even simply keeping them out of view is a big deterrent to thieves.
If you’re not going to be home this Halloween, then in addition to locking all the windows and doors, make sure you activate any alarms. Some more sophisticated alarm systems even allow you to operate them via your smartphone, so you’ll be alerted right away if anything happens. Depending on the level of security you want, you might even consider implementing CCTV to monitor your home and garden while you’re away.
If you have a neighbour that you trust, you could ask them to keep an eye out whilst you’re away to give you that extra bit of peace of mind.
Halloween’s a truly frightful time for pets, so make sure you keep them indoors and close the curtains to insulate your house from noise as much as possible. If you really wanted to go all out, you can even purchase pet-friendly diffusers and sprays that help to calm cats and dogs. You could also try distracting them by turning the TV to a nature-based channel, which many pets enjoy with rapt attention.
Every pet is individual and it's important to get the right cover to suit them and you. Our partners at Healthy Pets offer 6 levels of cover for you to choose from. For more information visit the pet insurance page or call Healthy Pets on 01730 230 564 to speak to a specialist adviser.
James Cooper is a respected industry leader with around 10 years' experience in the home and property insurance sector. He works across a broad range of insurance product and policy development and delivery, including product development; customer sales and marketing; and P&L accountability.
Date: October 24, 2023
Category: Home and Property