Beware - Christmas is a busy time for burglars, with house break-ins increasing by a staggering 53% over what should be for you a celebratory and joyful time.
A former burglar, when interviewed, is recorded as saying: “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.”
Why burglaries increase over Christmas
It is likely that your diary is full of Christmas parties and days out with the kids. Remember that leaving your home empty increases your chances of being burgled, and take extra steps to prevent it.
1. Don’t leave packaging from presents outside
77% of people surveyed recently agreed that they leave packaging from presents outside where they can be seen. This means burglars know what you’ve bought - from TVs to Rubik’s Cubes - and know what you are likely to have under the Christmas tree.
2. Don’t post photos of your presents on social media
That new jewellery or mobile or TV you’re so delighted about unwrapping will be just as exciting for a burglar who might happen to see it. Also make sure you never post anything with your house address on it - ever. Don’t tell the would-be burglars where you live.
3. Make your house look as if you are at home
Set up your lights on a timer and ask a neighbour to park in your driveway. That way it looks as if someone is home.
4. Keep presents away from your windows
Burglars will be attracted by what they can see.
Also keep your keys away from any doors - and don’t leave spare keys in an unlocked ‘safe place’ outside. Get a key safe and only tell the code to people you want to know it. According to official police figures, thousands of homes are burgled every year by thieves using keys from ‘safe places’.
5. Make sure your windows and doors are locked
Don’t go out without checking everything is locked. Also contact us to help you assess the security of your current locks or if you would like to consider further security such as an alarm system or a safe.
6. Don’t tell people you’re away on your home phone answering machine
You might be away for Christmas. Many people are. But it’s best not to tell everyone in your recorded answering machine message!
Do You Lock your Doors?
A recent survey on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch of 2000 householders across the UK has revealed that only 4 out of 10 normally lock their doors when they leave their house. More said they would lock up if they were away overnight. So when should we lock our doors?
Locking the door when we leave the house is the most basic piece of crime prevention we can possibly engage in. Burglars are opportunistic and will use the path of least resistance to find their way into your property. Nothing is easier or more convenient to a burglar than an unlocked door. Bear in mind also that leaving your house unlocked will certainly nullify your house contents insurance and you won’t get a payout from them for the things taken.
Often people only really think about home security after a break-in. This is surely worrying. Even those who have installed a burglar alarm often go out without bothering to set it. Increasingly CCTV is becoming a popular deterrent with 12% of us now monitoring our homes remotely but when it comes to investing in our homes, upgrading our security falls way behind the priorities of a new kitchen or updating the décor. Let us all bear in mind the importance of keeping our home and its precious content secure