The famous phrase goes "remember, remember the fifth of November", and anyone who has taken that saying to heart over the years is likely to be getting ready for another colourful evening of Bonfire Night festivities.
Thanks to numerous high-profile public campaigns over the years, safety planning has become a key part of this preparation process, with families well aware of the need to handle their fireworks and bonfire building with great care, while they also take steps to ensure their pets and small children are kept safe and calm during the raucous celebrations.
However, while this focus on safety is laudable, it can often be easy for revellers to overlook the equally important issue of home security on November 5th - meaning many people could unwittingly be putting their prized possessions at risk while they are out enjoying the flashing lights.
The need for heightened security on Bonfire Night
Because of historically lax attitudes to security and the significant amount of distractions throughout the evening, Bonfire Night tends to be one of the worst days of the year in terms of burglaries and incidents of malicious damage.
Every year, homeowners across the country leave their premises for hours at a time to attend public bonfires and fireworks displays - often without checking that their windows or doors have been secured before they depart.
Security lapses tend to be even more prevalent among people who are organising their own fireworks parties at home, as it is frequent for hosts to intentionally leave their back doors - or even front doors - unlocked to allow guests to come and go, without considering the fact that this also leaves the house vulnerable to thieves.
Even in cases where families are simply relocating briefly to their back gardens to light a few sparklers and rockets, it is important that possible points of ingress are locked down, with valuables stowed out of sight to reduce the window of opportunity for thieves on the prowl to make a quick score.
Essential steps to keeping your home safe and secure
Fortunately, those who want to take a more proactive approach to keeping their homes safe from thieves and intruders this Bonfire Night can do so by taking a few simple steps.
- keeping windows and doors locked unless there is a specific reason for them to be open
- leaving lights, radios or television sets on while the house is empty to give the impression it is occupied
- turning down the volume on the music if a party is being held to make sure thieves don't see the house as an easy target
- parking cars and bikes in the garage or out of the way if they are not being used
- installing timer-activated or motion-sensing security lights to ensure criminals cannot use the darkness as a cover
- fitting a security device and an alarm in a visible location to act both as a deterrent and a prevention system
By taking precautions such as these, homeowners can ensure they continue to remember, remember the fifth of November for all the right reasons.