Sheffield broker warns homeowners to beware of Halloween hooliganism and bonfire night burglaries.

9th October 2012

Sheffield broker IFM Insurance is urging homeowners be extra vigilant over the Halloween and bonfire period as it's a peak time for burglary and vandalism.

Research from AVIVA last year revealed that the week from 30 October to 5 November generally sees a rise in burglaries.  The research showed an average increase in reported burglaries of 26% during this period compared with the weekly average for the rest of the year. This is supported by ten years of Aviva claims data, which shows a 28% increase in burglary claims on Bonfire Night, making it the worst night of the year for break-ins. Halloween also presents a threat to homeowners.  Ten years of Aviva claims data shows a rise of 150% in malicious damage claims to the home with damage to cars rising by 50% and car thefts also increasing by 20%. Common Halloween claims include smashed windows, vandalism to vehicles and damage to garden property. David Biggs, Managing Director of IFM Insurance Brokers said, -Halloween or Bonfire Night along with the darker nights present a great opportunity for burglars to strike. However, homeowners can take some simple measures to help to minimise the risk.  What's more theft and malicious damage are covered as standard by your home insurance but it is best to take steps to avoid becoming of being a victim of crime in the first place. So here are IFM's top tips to keep your house safe when the darker nights draw in:  Put the car in the garage if you have one Put away any loose garden items or ornaments so they are not used to cause damage Make your house look occupied if you are going out by leaving lights on and drawing the curtains Make sure all doors and windows are securely locked.

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