At the end of October the clocks will go back. So, at 2am, it will become 1am again and for many, this extra hour in bed means there's more time to get over the hangover from the night before. In my household it's a bit different because the kids don't respect this time change and they'll be up at 5am rather than 6am.
It's the same in households across the nation, and we've got used to the fact that for a few weeks anyway, the mornings will be a little lighter. The nights, however, will be much darker.
From 5pm, it'll be pretty much pitch black out there and the daily commute home will be a tough one. When the clouds come over and it starts to rain, you can say goodbye to daylight from around 4pm. Playing outside will be a no-no for kids and sports will have to take place indoors or on an all-weather pitch in the rain.
These are minor inconveniences though when you consider that there is a bigger problem: Crime.
Many studies have shown that crime goes up when the clocks go back. It's a simple equation, really. It's darker at night and so there are more places for your opportunist thief to hide. And that's the big issue here, most thieves *are* opportunist.
Although Hollywood has given us the idea that thieves stalk out their target for weeks before deftly defeating the security with a range of gadgets that magically silence alarms and switch off CCTV, most thefts are opportunistic. That is, someone is walking past a building and they notice something like:
a) A window is open
b) A door is ajar
c) A car isn't locked
And they take advantage. Sometimes it's just by grabbing a stick and levering a window or maybe by throwing a brick through a window and running off with the booty. Either way, they didn't plan it, you planned it for them.
Also, many of us have become complacent. Because crime is relatively low in the UK, we seem to think we're totally safe. And this isn't to make you paranoid, it's true, we are pretty safe in the UK and we don't have rampant crime, but still, you can be safe and deter thieves without having to turn your house into Fort Knox.
Simply by closing all windows on the ground floor and making sure the window locks are on can be enough to keep most thieves out. But one of the best deterrents of all is an alarm. A burglar alarm not only serves as a visible deterrent to the opportunist, it also gives you the option of alerting neighbours, and even the authorities, should they attempt a break in.
With the darker nights on their way, now really is the time to be considering if extra home security might well be the best way to keep your valuables safe.