5 tips to prevent residential burglaries

Burglary is just one of those things you think will never happen to you…until it does! To prevent the worst from happening, it’s important to understand how thieves operate and how they take advantage of homes without ever stepping inside. Here are 5 tips to help protect your home:

  1. Don’t be an easy target

Burglars are known to return to the same homes they’ve targeted before. In fact, victims of burglary have a 28% chance of it happening again at the same property! If you’ve ever had a break in, make sure you review and test your security systems at the earliest opportunity. If the system has not been serviced within the last 12 months it would be advisable to arrange for a reputable company to attend and carry out maintenance checks.

Furthermore, burglars tend to target areas they are familiar with. If a house in your neighbourhood has been burgled, consider tightening your home security measures to prevent it from happening to you.

2. Let’s talk about sheds and garages

Often detached from the house, sheds and garages are much easier to break into. They usually contain tools, bikes and other expensive equipment. This equipment can then be used to gain entry into the home.

To prevent access, invest in a strong padlock and/or alarm system. If you want to be extra cautious, cover your valuables with a sheet so burglars can’t see the goods!

3. Don’t be a show off

One of the best things about getting a brand new car is showing it off for everyone to see! We’re all guilty of it, but the vehicles parked on your driveway are a good indication of what’s inside the house.

It’s not always possible, but try to park your vehicle discreetly to minimise the risk of being burgled.

4. Bin day just got serious

It may sound silly, but burglars on the prowl are always looking for a risk that’s worth the reward. Online orders, especially throughout lockdown have been at an all time high.

Make sure any expensive packaging is disposed of properly and completely out of sight. Even if Amazon has sent your new knife and fork set in a box the size of England and your wheelie bin is full!

5. Can anyone feel that draft?

As the weather gets warmer, you may be tempted to leave the windows open whilst you nip to the shop.

But don’t be fooled – burglars are always looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit. Make sure you lock all your windows and doors when out of the house, even if it’s just a short period of time.

Taking our 5 tips on board is sure to minimise the risk of home burglaries, but they aren’t entirely fool proof. To ensure your home is completely secure, get in touch with a professional. The team at Scope are experts in this field and offer free consultations, audits and more. Contact us to learn how we can help.

5 common causes of electrical fires

Electrical fires are extremely common in both homes and businesses. In fact, only recently, a well-known hotel suffered a serious fire that was said to have been caused by a fault in their electrics.

With electricity so widely used in every day life, it’s important to understand how electrical fires start and how to prevent them. Let’s take a look at the 5 main causes:

Faulty appliances and outlets

Use of outdated appliances is one of the most common causes of electrical fires. If you suspect your tumble dryer is at death’s door, don’t wait until it passes, invest in a new one straight away. One thing to look out for (and avoid like the plague) is frayed cords, which can send heat onto combustible surfaces and cause a fire.

Faulty plug sockets can also be dangerous. If you notice any cracks or burn marks, get them checked out and replaced as soon as you can.

Extension cords

Many people use extension cords, but very few know that they are one of the main causes of electrical fires. When multiple appliances are plugged into the same outlet, it can become overloaded and catch fire, especially if there are flammable items nearby.

To minimise the risk, keep extension cords away from carpets, rugs or anything else that can easily catch fire. If you want a safer, more permanent solution, have additional outlets plugged directly into the wall and eliminate the need for an extension cord completely.

Light fittings & bulbs

Light fittings and bulbs are another common cause of electrical fires. When replacing a fitting or bulb, it’s important to get the wattage right. Any higher than the maximum recommended wattage is a fire safety hazard.

Moreover, don’t underestimate how hot bulbs can get! It goes without saying, keep flammable materials a safe distance away at all times.

Wiring

Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not when it comes to wiring…

Older homes and buildings are more at risk of catching fire because of faulty wiring. This is because they can’t always handle modern appliances, such as big televisions, computers and game consoles.

If you suspect the wiring in your home or establishment needs sprucing up, keep an eye out for the common signs. These include but are not limited to:

  • Regular power outages
  • Hot-to-the-touch appliances or electronics
  • The smell of burning
  • Flickering or buzzing lights
  • Frequent circuit breaker trips
  • Discoloured outlets

Space heaters

It’s no surprise that space heaters are a common cause of electrical fires. These portable heaters can get very hot and easily cause a fire if left near flammable items. When using one, be extra vigilant to keep it a safe distance away from curtains, rugs, clothes, etc. and never forget to turn it off afterwards!