AS DARK nights return, homeowners are being advised on how they can keep their possessions and family safe.

National Home Security Month (NHSM) is an initiative that provides advice, information and support to people on protecting their properties.

The initiative is sponsored by security experts Yale, and is returning for its eighth year.

Research from NHSM supporters Crimestoppers charity revealed there has been a 26.8 per cent increase in burglary reports they over the last four years.

Crimestoppers’ Regional Manager and Burglary Lead, Ruth McNee said: “It’s estimated there’s a burglary every 40 seconds, so being aware of and updating your home security is essential.

"Being burgled can be very upsetting and unsettling as it can be very traumatic to lose valuables and personal possessions from your home.

"We’re pleased to be able to support National Home Security Month and help raise awareness around the importance of home security.”