28 November 2014

Protect your home at Christmas

Christmas is many people’s favourite time of the year – but it’s especially joyful for burglars. 

That’s because an increase in shopping trips, social events and visits to relatives leaves homes empty more often, giving burglars more opportunities to break in. Here we cover off a few basic tips to protect your home this Christmas.

Keep gifts out of sight

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, your home could well be like Santa’s grotto, full of expensive gadgets and toys. Don’t tempt burglars by leaving presents in full view of everyone – and try not to leave keys visible.

Make sure you’re not left vulnerable once the festivities are over either, when you might have a shiny new TV or computer in your house. Break up packaging for electrical goods and put it in your recycling bin. Leaving boxes outside will alert burglars to your expensive new equipment.

Are your presents covered? Check to ensure you have sufficient cover. If you receive new electronic gadgets for Christmas you may need to permanently increase the value of your contents cover.

Protect your home while on holiday

If you’re going away for Christmas, it’s important to make your home looked lived in to deter thieves:

  • Use automatic timers to switch your lights and radio on at night
  • Cancel newspaper and milk deliveries
  • Ask a neighbour to collect your mail so it doesn’t build up behind the door
  • Don’t leave bins out beyond the collection date
  • Don’t broadcast holidays and nights out on social media, and don’t publish photos of any expensive Christmas gifts online

Fit strong door and window locks

November 2013 figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that most burglars access a property through the front door, and in half of all cases someone is at home while the burglary is taking place.

Keep doors locked even when you’re at home, and make sure you have strong locks fitted to all your external doors and windows.

For doors, a British Standard five-lever mortice deadlock is recommended by the police. Consider fitting key-operated locks to all your windows.

Install security lighting

The ONS statistics also show that most burglaries occur at night. Installing outdoor security lighting can deter intruders because it makes it harder for them to remain unseen. Floodlights, motion sensors, dusk-till-dawn lights and even Christmas lights can be used to ward them off.

Fit an alarm system

Domestic burglar alarms are a major deterrent for intruders. If you’re away from home a lot over Christmas, an alarm will give you peace of mind that your property is secure. From bells-only to monitored alarms, there are several different types to choose from, depending on your budget.

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