As the Christmas adverts appear and lights are switched on, we’re on final countdown to the most wonderful time of the year. At this time, homes are more frequently left empty in the whirlwind of shopping trips, social events and visits, and with the elongated holiday many of us use the opportunity to take a break.
With ‘Black Friday’ bargains and expensive presents wrapped and conveniently left in the hallway or under the tree, it’s not surprising that burglaries increase by up to 20% over the winter months.
We have put together our top tips for securing your home this Christmas.
1. Start with the basics: When you go out, ensure all windows, upstairs and downstairs and even the smallest are locked and secure. Also don’t forget to fully engage the front and back door locking features.
2. Treasure Trees: Avoid leaving presents under the tree and try to keep them out of sight, and away from windows until the big day.
3. Christmas Wrapping: Make sure packing is unidentifiable when you throw it out. Opportunist burglaries will be looking out for any signs and easy takings of new stock!
4. Alarm Systems: Make sure you have invested in a smart alarm for your home as latest statistics show that 60% of burglaries attempted on homes fitted with one are unsuccessful.
5. CCTV: With latest Police advice to fit CCTV to your home, latest solutions means you can even check on your home from your mobile phone when you are out.
6. Sheds, Garages and Outbuildings: Sheds and garages are often used to store larger, more expensive presents like bicycles and televisions. Plus, they often contain ladders and tools that could prove useful for a burglar. Both makes them prime targets so keep them secure.
7. Gardens: Fences and thorny hedges act as a visible and practical deterrent, although it is a good idea to ensure that the house is still visible to passers-by, so as not to allow a thief to work unseen. Consider fitting movement sensitive security lights to the front and back of your home.
8. Festival of Light: Give your home the ‘lived-in look’ even when you’re out with time switches for lamps and lights (including outdoor lights!)
9. Don’t Be Distracted: Be careful who you welcome into your home with concerns over distraction burglary. As the elderly are particularly vulnerable, consider fitting a door chain, spy hole or new digital door viewers so you know who exactly is at the door. Where necessary, ask for ID to confirm the identity of callers.
10. Work Together: Sign up or start your own neighbourhood watch scheme, as it is fact that crime is lower in areas where they operate.
11. Social Media: In the lead up to, and the big day itself, try not to advertise your new gifts on social media. You don’t want to create a catalogue for burglars to choose from – especially if you tag yourself at an airport 3 days later!
Jamie Allam, Amthal Commercial Director adds: “The most important way we can protect ourselves, our home and our possessions from burglary is to work together and stay vigilant. This is why we are urging homeowners to take the necessary security steps, even if you’re only popping out for a few minutes. We want to make sure Santa Claus is the only surprise visitor in your home this Christmas!”