Have a theft-free Christmas
Simple home security measures to keep you safe during the festive season
With the dark evenings and gift-buying, and people leaving their homes to see family and friends, it is little wonder that burglary and theft rates reach their peak during December and January in the UK. The good news is that relatively simple measures can help to deter thieves (Kevin, the little boy from the Home Alone movie could have saved himself some trouble). Here are some tips to help burglar-proof your home so you can enjoy the Christmas period in peace.
Check, check and check again
According to new research, one of the reasons theft increases in the winter months is because people are not performing the necessary checks before leaving their homes. With five per cent of all UK burglaries taking place thanks to an unlocked door, it’s well worth a quick check to make sure everything is locked up before you leave. Are your windows closed and locked? Are the curtains drawn? After all, sometimes just the sight of valuables can be all the invitation a thief needs.
It’s also a good idea to ask family, friends or neighbours to check your property once a day while you’re away.
Packages and letters piling up outside your front door are an obvious giveaway that you’re not at home as is the temptation to post photos of yourselves in the sunny Maldives on social media. Keep holiday pihotos for after your holiday or change your settings so only close family and friends can see them. Cancel any deliveries you are expecting while you’re away and click here to opt out of receiving unaddressed junk mail through your letterbox from Royal Mail.
Out of sight, out of mind
While this expression doesn’t normally pertain to valuables, we thought it was an apt expression. Burglars are often opportunists so if they see valuables or keys on display that will be all the temptation they need. Draw the curtains when you leave and make sure you don’t leave laptops, phones and handbags in full view of windows. Similarly, it’s also good practice to keep valuables away from letter boxes and catflaps as there are plenty of ways to get them should they be visible and reachable.
Lights, camera, action!
Using lights as a deterrent can be very effective in keeping your home safe. Outdoor lights, especially lights that are triggered by movement, are great as not only will they scare off intruders, but they will alert passers by, neighbours and those in the house. When placing your lights, make sure they are out of reach or secured so they can’t be tampered with. If they are motion sensored, then it’s also a good idea to place them away from waving branches or people passing by on the street so they won’t be accidentally triggered. Having your lights on a timer is another great idea for long absences as they will trick people into thinking you are home.
Cameras, or CCTV, are another great deterrent. They can be especially valuable in protecting sheds or outhouses, for which you wouldn’t usually have a security measure in place. CCTV not only puts thieves off, but it can alert you to activity while recording evidence should you need it, making them invaluable bits of kit. Discover the range of CCTV options here.
Cause for alarm
Whether you’re away for an evening or a two-week holiday, installing a burglar alarm is a fantastic way to keep your home secure. Not only do they act as a deterrent, but they are paramount in alerting the authorities should an intruder try their luck. Of course, just because you have one installed doesn’t mean you are protected if like many people, you forget to switch it on. When you leave your house make sure to turn on the alarm because your contents might be protected through your insurance company should you get burgled with the alarm off.
There is a range of alarms on offer, with each boasting different benefits and assets and any cost and inconvenience of installing them can be offset by reductions in insurance costs and the fact you can enjoy greater peace of mind about your home security.
To find out more, click here.
Stay safe while you are out an about
Cumbria Police have some helpful advice to help keep you and your valuables safe while you are out and about at Christmas time. Click here for their Don’t Let Thieves Steal Your Christmas guide.
Of course, throughout the holiday season, it’s not just the possibility of burglaries that can threaten your home but fire risk. To get some tips on how to protect your home from fire check out our last blog here.