Keeping your home safe is something you should be thinking about as Christmas approaches. With all the excitement of the festive period, it’s easy to make simple mistakes that could inadvertently invite opportunistic burglars into your home.
It’s a sad fact that every year, the Christmas period sees a rise in domestic burglary rates. Ex-burglar Peter Woolf gives the following warning to home-owners:
“Criminals are opportunistic by trade and if they see a chance they’ll take it. People need to be especially savvy at Christmas, when their home is even more of a treasure trove. I hate to say it, but if they haven’t taken the time to secure their home and hide their purchases, they will become victims”
But don’t let this put a damper on your festive spirits. By implementing the following simple measures, you can ensure that you and your home will stay safe during the Christmas period:
Like most families, you’ll probably be hanging Christmas lights around your home. But don’t run your extension leads through window cracks as this allows burglars an entry-point into your home. A better option would be to run any extension leads from your garage if you can close and lock the door with the leads running outside.
Leaving presents under your Christmas tree can create an atmosphere of eager anticipation. Presents covered in shiny festive wrapping paper, with brand-new and often expensive items inside, are part of the joy of Christmas.
But be aware that putting your valuable presents on display also can attract potential thieves. This is especially concerning if you leave your house unattended for long periods of time. Make sure prying eyes can’t peer through your windows and peek at your presents. Better still, hide your gifts in your wardrobes and cupboards. Burglars have been known to smash windows to grab valuables inside.
If you’re planning to spend time away from home over Christmas, don’t post about it on social media. Although it’s natural to want to share with your friends and family, you can’t be sure who else might see your updates online. You could be alerting potential burglars about the times when your home will be empty, so be careful about what you share online.
Having visible security around your home is always the best deterrent. Homes with security systems are 300% less likely to be burgled than those without. Alarm systems will help you draw attention to intruders and are very discouraging to potential burglars. CCTV cameras mounted on the exterior of your home will put off even the most determined burglar.
As the nights are getting longer and darker, motion-sensor lights will catch any intruders trying to use the darkness of cover. Most thieves plan to make their moves at night to stay unseen, so if you take that advantage away from them, they’re less likely to bother.
Remember to ensure your windows and doors are locked at all times. It’s also good to stay vigilant and be aware about what’s going on around your home. If you see any suspicious behaviour, report it to the police.