Keeping Safe and Secure After Dark Crime statistics show that burglaries increase by up to 20% when the clocks change, as thieves take advantage of the darker evenings. So, the security experts at Yale have come up with some useful tips for keeping yourself and your home safe and secure during the dark winter months. Be Alarmed60% of burglaries attempted on homes with alarms are unsuccessful and with dark nights providing useful cover for burglars, you should make sure you always have a working home alarm. As well as providing a visual deterrent to potential burglars, alarms are vital for alerting your neighbours. Yale’s wirefree alarm kits are quick and easy to install and offer discreet protection for all types of properties, from flats to large family homes. External DoorsIt’s important that your door security is up to standard during the dark winter months. External timber doors should be secured using a mortice lock and/or nightlatch that meets British Standard BS3621 and if you have a PVCu or Composite door then it is a good idea to upgrade the euro profile cylinder in your multi-point lock to British Standard as well (look for the Kitemark on lock packs and on the lock itself). Answering The DoorDuring the festive season, you are far more likely to be visited by relatives and friends, as well as the occasional carol singer, so Yale recommends fitting a door chain and spy hole to external timber doors. Get into the habit of using the spy hole to check who is at the door and make sure the chain is engaged before opening the door, even if you are expecting visitors to call. Replace Your CylinderReplacing the lock cylinder is an effective and easy way of making your home secure, without having to change the entire lock or door. By simply upgrading the rim cylinder in your nightlatch or the euro profile cylinder in a multi-point lock to a British Standard cylinder, you can be assured that your home has the very latest security protection. WindowsA property is not properly protected unless all points of entry are secured and Yale recommends that all windows, both upstairs and downstairs, are fitted with at least one appropriate lock. Many burglars will avoid smashing a window and will instead try to force the window frame itself. There are locks available for all types of windows, including wooden, aluminium and PVCu, as well as locks that are suitable for French doors and patio doors. Personal Safety There are often more social events to attend over the darker months, such as Christmas dos and New Year’s Eve parties, but you shouldn’t let your fun be ruined by compromising your safety. Although you should avoid walking home alone at night or being left on your own at parties, these situations can still occur and that’s why it’s crucial to take a personal attack alarm with you when you go out. Yale offers an affordable personal attack alarm that is small and discreet to carry, with an ultra loud built-in siren, activated by pulling the hand loop. Yale security products are available from your local DIY store, locksmiths or hardware stores. For more information call 01902 364647 or visit www.yale.co.uk. If you’re looking for an installer click on the ‘Find an expert’ tab on the Yale website or visit www.yalesecuritypoint.co.uk, where you can fill in your details to request a free home safety security survey.