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Scary Facts about Halloween

Make Sure Bonfire Night Doesn't go up in Smoke!

The next few weeks are the worst time of year for home insurance claims.

The clocks go back, Halloween and Bonfire night traditionally see a rise in crime to property, and this year all they happen in the same week! Take care to protect your home. For the first time in six years, British Summertime ends in the early hours of 31 October and five days later comes Bonfire Night – statistically the worst night of the year for theft and burglaries.

Research indicates that burglaries increase by 5% once British summertime ends – and November 5th is the worst day of the year for home and car break-ins, with an increase of 28% and 25% respectively from an average day. The extra hours of darkness also sees a 15% increase in car accidents compared to the week before. And of course, Bonfire Night is also one of the worst days of the year for fire claims with 45% more than on a normal day.

However, it is Halloween when the petty criminals really let loose – with homeowners reporting a massive 150% rise in malicious damage claims to the home in just this one night alone. Common incidents for malicious damage include window smashed with milk bottles, stones, eggs – and even pumpkins thrown at property. Mindless damage to garden property such as walls, fences and plant pots is common – and vehicles are often vandalised by 'malevolent spirits' breaking aerials, wing mirrors and windscreens. When you think about it, it is all very scary!

The spooky hours of darkness provide opportunity for theft and burglary, people are out and about at Halloween and Bonfire parties so many properties are left unattended. The noise these parties provide means also that the sound of windows being broken etc is effectively masked. Whilst home insurance will pay out for theft of and damage to property, it is sensible to take a few precautions to protect your property.

As winter draws in, start putting your car away in the garage each night and ensure it is locked – make sure your sheds and any outbuildings are secured also. Don't leave anything tempting lying around – even garden ornaments, potted plants and bikes should all be kept safely out of sight.

If you are having a Bonfire party in your back garden, make sure the front of the property is properly secured – and remember to follow the Firework Code. Do not feel obliged to answer the door to trick or treaters if you don't want to – and if you go out on Halloween, remember to leave lights on indoors, and perhaps a radio or TV to give the impression that there is someone at home.

Unfortunately, it is not only the un-dead and restless spirits wondering the streets, it is more likely to be some little urchins with a bit of no-good on their minds, so it is not silly to be a little bit apprehensive- although the threat of damage and loss seems more likely to come from the inhabitants of the real world than the spiritual! And if you want Bonfire Night to go with a sparkle, make sure you handle the fireworks with care and that your home is safe and secure whilst you celebrate Guy Fawkes' night with a bang!

Check your home and contents are properly insured, not just for now but all year round. Don't leave anything to chance – speak to a home insurance expert at Westhill Insurance Services.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 25th October, 2010