Monday, December 17, 2012

Don’t be part of the ‘Theftive Season’

Extracts from the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network Newsletter

Towergate Insurance warns homeowners of the ‘Theftive Season’

The festive period of gift giving can often see the value of your home contents increase significantly, which can also attract burglars. At this time of year, Towergate Insurance advises Neighbourhood Watch members to be especially vigilant when thinking about the security of your own home as well as that of your neighbours.

Thousands of pounds of gifts tempt thieves at this time of year, which are often left poorly protected. Homeowners should pay attention not only to locks and security, but to ensure they have suitable insurance protection as well.

Most home insurance policies automatically offer increased home contents protection during Christmas, though some do not, and those who are under-insured risk losing the most. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reveals that the first three months of the year see a higher chance of burglary, making proper insurance coverage essential. This perhaps explains why this time of year has often been referred to as the ‘theftive season’. Towergate Insurance therefore advises people not to leave their many new, and often expensive goods in plain sight, at home or in vehicles.

If you’re concerned that your current insurance policy protects you adequately, or you’d like to get an alternative quote from an insurer that understands the Neighbourhood Watch, call us today on 0844 346 3253.
Article courtesy of Towergate Insurance

The Key to Christmas Security

For many of us Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year and the last thing you need when you’re juggling work, shopping and parties is to find yourself locked out of your home, or worse still, that you have been broken into. Here the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA) offers its top tips on Christmas security:

  • Save the number of your nearest MLA locksmith in your mobile – you can find a locksmith byphoning the MLA on 0800 783 1498, or by visiting
  • Many MLA approved companies operate a rota over Christmas, so if one MLA locksmith is not able to help you, they should be able to put you in touch with one who will
  • You can help lessen the chance of your home being broken into by keeping gifts out of sight before the big day, and being weary of when any packaging is put out afterwards
  • If you plan to be away during the Christmas period, make sure you don’t publicise the fact on Facebook or Twitter. Consider installing a number of light timers around the house, so that potential intruders think someone is at home

To read more of the MLA’s Christmas security tips, please click here.
Article Courtesy of the MLA (Master Locksmith Association)
To read NHWN’s crime prevention tips for the festive season, please click here:

Your Online Safety Christmas Checklist

As the festive season draws closer, most of us are busy preparing for the big day and maybe anticipating a few days off work to enjoy time with friends and family.

These days, a lot of this preparation involves spending time online – whether it’s shopping for gifts or items to dress up the house, ordering our festive food, inviting people round for the day by email, sending and receiving online cards or chatting about our plans, or what we got for Christmas.

We’d like you to stay safe online this Christmas, because we don’t want your family’s celebrations to be ruined. And let’s face it; we’re all so busy at this time of year that sometimes we can be less careful than usual.

So here’s a quick checklist of things you may be doing online where you need to be careful… together with quick links to our free, practical, unbiased information and advice.
To view the checklist, please visit here.
Article Courtesy of Get Safe Online

Spread the Warmth

Did you know that people living in the coldest homes are three times as likely to die from a cold-related illness compared to those in warmer homes?

Even in relatively mild winters, there are around 8,000 extra deaths for every one degree drop in average temperature. Cold homes are particularly dangerous to older people’s health and are a major contributing factor to excess winter deaths. The prevalence of poorly insulated homes, coupled with sharp increases in energy prices over recent years, has forced many people to cut back on their heating in a bid to control costs.

Here are Age UK’s ‘top tips’ to keep yourself warm and healthy this winter:

  • It’s harder to judge temperatures as you get older. Use a thermometer to detect changes and act quickly. Keep your living room at 70F (21c) if possible.
  • Exposure to the cold during the night puts you at greater risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Keep your bedroom at 65F (18c).
  • It’s a common misconception that sleeping with the window open all year round is healthy. Keeping windows open on a winter night puts you at greater risk of a heart attack or a stroke. Keep your bedroom windows closed at night.

For more tips and information on Age UK’s ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign, please go here.
Article Courtesy of Age UK

And from the Chair

At NHWN we continue to build on the good work and enthusiasm that is the hallmark of neighbourliness, developing relationships with opinion formers and the movers and shakers who can make a difference to our lives. We have been working with our core partners, the Home Office and ACPO to be at the forefront of innovation.

One example of this is the list of consultees when the government are considering changes to legislation. We are on that list and from time to time we will be consulting the membership and seeking their views. At the moment there are three areas of concern where our views are being sought,

  • the Office of Fair Trading are consulting on scams,
  • the Home Office are consulting on a new Alcohol Strategy and
  • the Department for Business, Information and Skills are considering repealing the Pedlars Act of 1871.

There is a lot more to be done and we are working hard on your behalf. On behalf of NHWN, have a crime free Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.
James Maddan (NHWN Chair)

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