Christmas is normally a time for giving and receiving. But as the gifts pile up higher under the tree and we leave our homes to see family or go on holiday, for some this is also the time for taking and stealing. Unfortunately, Christmas and New Year are notorious for increased property crimes.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here’s a list of tips to increase your level of home protection.
1. Leave the lights on
Simple enough, right? Police tend to warn us around this time of year to increase the amount of lighting on your premises to deter burglars. You can either invest in a motion-sensor-operated floodlight or buy timers for lamps so that lights turn on automatically at night. This way your home will remain lit even if you’re away, creating the impression you’re home.
However, be mindful of lighting rooms that contain valuables visible from windows as this will only serve to attract unwanted attention.
2. Be careful with your festive lighting
External lights look beautiful on homes around this time. But don’t prioritise aesthetics over your family’s safety. Remember not to feed extensions through open windows, even if it’s just a tiny gap, as this can create easy access for would-be burglars.
3. Keep Presents Hidden
The police warn homeowners not to leave presents under the tree, particularly if they’re visible from windows or doors. Instead, keep them hidden until Christmas morning.
4. Don’t Hide Keys
Burglars know all the obvious places to look for hidden keys. Preferably, don’t hide keys outside the home, but if necessary, hide them at least 50 feet from the door. Or even better, hide them with a neighbour, or upgrade to a smart lock so no physical keys are required.
5. Double check that your alarm system works
Many homeowners with alarm systems don’t take the time to figure out how to activate them properly. Please make sure to do this before leaving your home.
While you’re at it, clean your keypad so burglars can’t guess the code.
6. Dispose of receipts and packaging carefully after Christmas
This one may not be so obvious, but believe it or not, burglars sometimes look through your rubbish looking for valuables you may have inside the home, particularly during Christmas time. So be careful disposing of such things. We would recommend putting them somewhere until you can take them to the tip yourself. You should also ensure that your personal data isn’t on any such items to prevent identity theft.
7. Cancel Subscriptions if You’re Away
If you plan on leaving your home this Christmas period to visit family and loved ones, cancel any magazine/newspaper subscriptions you may have. The presence of a full letterbox is a magnet for would-be burglars since they’ll know that no one is at home. This is the same if y
ou have milk or newspaper deliveries left on your doorstep for days. Canceling subscriptions can prevent this, or you can ask them to be redirected to a neighbour if you need them.
8. Keep curtains and blinds closed
Burglars often like to operate under the cover of darkness, as they can creep up to your home without being spotted (unless you have a floodlight). By closing curtains and blinds before you go to bed, you can deter them from coming near your property, as there’ll be nothing to see.
9. Lock outbuildings
Christmas home security tips apply to external buildings, too. If you have a garage or shed, ensure it’s dead-bolted. These outbuildings often contain the tools needed to break into your home, so don’t give criminals easy access.
10. Keep cash in the bank
Last but not least, never keep large amounts of cash at home. Consider fitting a safe at home, though ideally writing cheques instead of giving cash.
11. Bonus tip!
All of these cost-effective techniques are great ways of deterring potential thieves from targeting your home. However, the most effective method is undoubtedly installing a residential security system.
By adding one of our home automation packages to your home (including a smart lock, smart light, and 24/7 video monitoring solution) you’ll be able to protect your home and family 365 days a year.
If you’re interested in bolstering your home security by introducing an alarm or CCTV security solution, then please contact us for a free security assessment and quote.