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With the Christmas season here again, it’s a good time to stop and think about home security at this time of year. The season of goodwill to all men is unfortunately a time when burglary tends to increase across the UK. Experienced criminals know that there are some easy pickings to be had when people are not at home for the holidays or they’re away from their homes, visiting friends and family. So here are some practical tips and advice which will help you keep your home secure during the festive season.
Crime figures show that home burglaries increase by as much as 25% during the dark winter months. Longer periods of darkness provide thieves with the cover they need to carry out their crimes so it’s important to be extra-vigilant and take sensible precautions to avoid becoming a victim.
People often overlook the need for security when carrying out their Christmas shopping. It can be enormously upsetting to lose expensive gifts to an opportunistic thief, even before you took them home.
Never leave the items and gifts you have purchased somewhere visible in your car. Always conceal them and be aware of anyone who may be following or watching you as thieves sometimes lookout for people purchasing expensive items and then follow them, waiting for an opportunity to steal.
Many people these days, carry out christmas shopping online. Parcels might then be delivered directly to the recipient or to your home address. It’s important to make certain that parcels aren’t simply left outdoors, on the doorstep, where they are easily purloined. Luckily, most courier companies will send text messages alerting people that their delivery is on the way, so you can make certain there is someone at the address, ready to receive the parcel. Alternatively, arrange for the delivery to be made to a friendly neighbour if you can’t be at home to receive it.
Many people like to go away on holidays at Christmas, or go to visit family or friends. For Christmas home security it’s important to take the same precautions that you take when going away on holiday.
Never announce your plans to be away from home on social media. Doing so will potentially alert would-be thieves who will know that they can take their time to gain entry to your home and steal anything they like without risk of being detected.
Try to make your home look lived-in while you are away. A friendly neighbour might be happy to pop round and draw the curtains at night, for example. Ensuring that some internal lights are illuminated at night will help deter thieves and this is easily achieved using simple timers and lamps. Similarly, switching a radio on and off using a timer can make it sound like someone’s at home. Make sure that your mail isn’t piling up on the doormat by either asking a neighbour to collect it or requesting redirection from the post office. And why not ask a friend or neighbour to park in your driveway to make it look like there is a house-sitter.
Even if you are away for only a short time, it’s worth taking precautions to make it look like you are still at home.
Something to be highly aware of during the winter months is checking all of your doors and windows, and don’t overlook any outbuildings, garages and sheds. Make certain that all locks, hasps and entrance points are thoroughly secure and replace any that show signs of corrosion. In fact if you want to significantly improve your home security investing in high quality locks is highly recommended.
If you are installing exterior christmas lighting always power them from an external power source. Burglars look for homes with wonderful exterior christmas light displays as homeowners will often run the power cables out through windows which can’t then be closed securely.
Although it’s a lovely tradition to place christmas presents under the tree its important to make certain that they can’t be easily seen by people looking through your windows. Keeping gifts out of sight and securely locked away until the big day is the best option.
Another important consideration around your home is sensibly dealing with your packaging. Thieves are constantly on the lookout for signs that there are valuables inside a property so it’s a good idea not to give them any. Leaving packaging for expensive items such as TVs and computers by your bin is a mistake. Cut the packaging up and put it inside the bin so it can’t be easily seen.
An important aspect of the Christmas period that you mustn’t overlook is the constant stream of visitors that many people enjoy. Combine these visits with some mulled wine and it’s not surprising that many people forget their basic home security and fail to lock their doors and windows. Before going to bed be certain to check that all doors and windows are locked securely and always do the same when leaving the house.
One thing that’s common to most burglars is that they like easy targets. It therefore makes sense not to be an easy target which can be achieved with some basic deterrents.
Exterior, motion triggered lighting helps to stop thieves from taking advantage of the winter darkness. Also, smart home alarms and CCTV systems are now very affordable and highly effective in deterring crime.
Christmas is a time for giving and many people are very generous, buying expensive jewellery and other high value gifts. Losing these to thieves can be heart-breaking. Marking high value items using a UV security marker is a good option and you can register items on the national property register at www.immobilise.com.
Another important consideration to keep in mind at this time of year is not to advertise lovely, brand new gifts on social media. Although it may be tempting to show off that wonderful new piece of jewellery or fantastic piece of expensive kit, don’t do it. Thieves are always on the lookout for valuable items that they can easily target.
It’s hoped that by following our tips and advice you will avoid becoming a crime victim over this festive season. Be alert, take precautions and don’t let criminals ruin your Christmas!
If you have any questions regarding home security remember that we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll give you some free, expert advice.
This message was added on Thursday 28th November 2019
Need Help or Advice?
Call the Insight team
01273 475 500