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10 Simple Home Security Tips: How to Stop Burglars Targeting Your Home During the Festive Season
Your central heating not working when it’s freezing cold. Noisy pipes when you’re trying to get an early night. Your TV not working when you’re trying to enjoy all that top Christmas telly. These are just some of the horrendously annoying and inconvenient things that have been known to go wrong over the festive period! While these things are incredibly inconvenient, your house falling victim to theft is not only inconvenient, it can also be heartbreaking. While no one likes to think that this sort of thing will happen to them, it’s well documented that there’s a spike in burglaries and theft over the Christmas period. In fact, in 2017, it was found that on each day of the holiday period there was an average of 448 burglaries and over 1000 thefts.So how can we keep our home safe and secure over the festive season? With more of us going out in the evenings or heading off to spend the season with family, it can certainly be the most wonderful time of the year for burglars too.
Thankfully, our 247 Home Care Plan is available to provide you with additional reassurance over the festive season. Our plans will ensure that you’re covered not only for appliance breakdowns, plumbing and electrical emergencies, but also home security too. With unlimited call outs, nationwide coverage and a 24 hour UK helpline, you can feel safe knowing we’ll be here when you need us.
If you need extra peace of mind for keeping your home safe this festive period, we have plenty of tips to ensure your home is kept safe and secure. Pair them with our 10 Home Safety Tips, and you can enjoy your Christmas feeling confident that you’re safe and protected!
1: Going Away? Don’t Make it Obvious!
A lot of us go away for Christmas and in some cases this can make homes an easy target for burglars. However, there’s a few simple home security tips that you can put in place to give yourself a little extra peace of mind. The key? Don’t make it obvious! Make your home looked lived in by leaving a few lights on, or if you want extra reassurance you can invest in timers that will switch lights on and off automatically. In addition, cancel any subscriptions you have – such as milk deliveries – that could end up being left on doorstep or front porches to avoid giving the game away. Also, if you have a phone answering service, be sure to avoid leaving outgoing messages such as “we’re away for Christmas!”
Even if you’re just popping out to walk the dog or to pick the kids up, it’s still important to take measures to keep your house secure. Simply leaving a light on is enough to make it look as though someone’s home.
2: Speak to Your Neighbours
If you’re on good terms with your neighbours and you trust them, it’s always worth letting them know if you’re going away for the festive period so that they can keep an eye on things for you. You can get them to create the illusion that someone’s home by asking them to park their car on your drive, or even give them a spare key for them to take in your post and to open and close the curtains for you.
3: Don’t Leave Spare Keys Lying Around
Even in this day and age it can be tempting to leave spare keys under doormats, in flower pots or above door ledges in the event that we lock ourselves out. While passers by clearly won’t catch sight of these clever disguises, burglars will know exactly where to look. So, if you normally leave your spare key in one of these places, a better idea is to leave it with a trusted neighbour or relative.
4: Keep Gifts Hidden
While the sight of your Christmas tree accompanied by piles of presents may seem like a wonderfully festive image, it can be one way to tempt a burglar to trying their luck. Especially if your tree is displayed in front of your window, keep gifts out of sight and well hidden to avoid the temptation for any potential criminals.
5: Consider Your Festive Lighting
We all love to add a little festive cheer to the outside of our homes, but make sure you keep your home protected while you’re at it. Running extension cords out of open windows to power any outside decorations will be seen by burglars as the perfect opportunity! If you can, a good idea is to install an outdoor electrical outlet, which you can pick up at DIY and hardware shops. Alternatively, look at solar or battery operated decorations for the outside of your home.
6: Lock Up
This may be an obvious one, but I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve been in a mad rush and forgotten to lock the back door. It’s easily done. That’s why at this time of the year it’s important to take a little extra time to double check that your doors and windows are securely locked when you leave the house. Even if it’s just for a few minutes!
7: Consider Parcels & Packaging
With so many of us opting to shop online for our Christmas gifts nowadays, criminals can easily nab something you’ve ordered if it’s been delivered while you’re out. Parcels left in bins, in porches or even in the back garden can be easily targeted by burglars so make sure you don’t leave notes on your door for couriers saying no one’s home! When you order online most retailers have the option for you to leave instructions as to where you would like parcels left, or in some cases you can select a delivery date or slot for when someone’s home. Alternatively, many retailers now offer Click & Collect services if you’re out for most of the day, or if your employer allows, you can get parcels delivered to your workplace.
On the other side of things, if you’ve made a big purchase for the festive season, make sure you rip up and properly dispose of any packaging. Don’t go leaving the box that your brand new 4K TV arrived in outside with the recycling just because you can’t be bothered to flatten it just yet!
8: Don’t Overshare
In this day and age, we all love to share our festivities on social media. Who doesn’t love Instagram-ing a picture of the piles of presents they’ve just wrapped or checking-in for Christmas drinks on Facebook? However as social media gets cleverer, so do burglars, with many of them using popular platforms to target locations. Make sure you don’t overshare too much on your socials over the festive season such as where you are and what you’ve got!
9: Invest in a Burglar Alarm
When it comes to home security and how to protect your home from theft, a sure fire way to keep burglars at bay is to install an alarm. Unprotected homes tend to stand out more to criminals than protected ones, so it’s worth investing in, not just for the festive season but for all year round. If you already have an alarm, make sure that it’s well maintained and working well before you head off for the festive season.
10: Keep Areas Well Lit
When it comes to how burglars pick a house, dark areas are one of the top factors. If there are any entry points to your home that are surrounded by dark areas, it’s worth investing in security lights which will help to deter criminals. Motion sensor flood lights will deter any potential intruders, while they can also be useful when you come home after dark.
No one likes to think of a burglary or break-in as something that will happen to them at any time of year, let alone Christmas, however for a sad few, this can be the case. Thankfully, by following basic home safety tips you can ensure that you, your family and your belongings are kept safe all year round. For extra reassurance, our 247 Home Care plan is perfect for giving you complete confidence over the festive season. Not only are you covered for boiler breakdowns, and electrical emergencies, we also include pest control and most importantly, home security! You can relax knowing that you’re covered for all eventualities, and our UK based helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! One less thing to worry about this Christmas, right?