21 December 2015

How to secure your home this Christmas

Before you brave the last minute Christmas chaos at the shops, head out for the evening with friends and family, or jet off for some winter sun, consider whether you may be leaving thieves an early present at home.

unwanted visitor

Winter is a burglar’s favourite season, with the Office for National Statistics (PDF) noting that domestic break-ins peak during the winter months.

‘It can be easier for thieves to break into houses in the pitch black during winter,’ cautions Nationwide Senior Product Manager Darren Black. ‘The potential value of Christmas presents acts as an added incentive for thieves at this time of the year.’

Winter is a burglar’s favourite season, with the Office for National Statistics (PDF) noting that domestic break-ins peak during the winter months.

‘It can be easier for thieves to break into houses in the pitch black during winter,’ cautions Nationwide Senior Product Manager Darren Black. ‘The potential value of Christmas presents acts as an added incentive for thieves at this time of the year.’

There are many ways to deter nimble-fingered criminals from entering your home. Here are some of our best tips to help you to keep a break-in off the list of things you have to deal with this festive period.

Seven tips to keep burglars out

  1. Switch on the lights. Put suspicious activity in the spotlight with good outside lights. If you’re going away, timed lighting inside can make it look like you’re at home
  2. Look at your locks. Check that you have good quality locks that comply with British Standard 3621. Santa has his own means of access, so lock your windows in the evening and when you leave the house.
  3. Don’t leave presents on show. You can still leave parcels around the tree, but close the curtains so that opportunistic visitors aren’t tempted.
  4. Don’t advertise your new possessions. Thieves will be monitoring packaging that’s left by your bin and the promise of a new games console may entice them in.
  5. Be wary of sharing. Photos of new purchases, Tweets about how much you’re enjoying your holiday and location information on social media can all attract thieves.
  6. Sounding the alarm. Thieves are visibly deterred by alarm systems, so have a good quality one fitted – and remember to switch it on.
  7. If you’re going away for Christmas, redirect your post or ask a neighbour to collect it for you so that it doesn’t pile up behind the door.

Check you’re covered for Christmas

As well as following our simple steps to protect your possessions, check that your home insurance protects you to the level you require. Find out how Nationwide home insurance can keep you covered this Christmas.

Other advice on burglary prevention you may find useful

https://www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary

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