There are few times people feel safer than at home, over the Christmas period, with their loved ones around them and youngsters desperately tearing apart wrapping paper under the tree. But are these feelings of security misplaced? Do you know who is peeking through your windows and planning to steal your presents for some quick Christmas cash?
In December 2013, Halifax Insurance paid out a total of £1.1 million for burglary claims, with the average household’s claim hitting a huge £1,651 – more than enough money to take the sparkle out of a frosty winter morning! So how can you stay protected over one of the most lucrative times of the year for criminality?
- Don’t leave presents on show
Understandably, you might want to have your Christmas presents spread underneath a fir tree – it’s one of the iconic images of Christmas. But if this tree is in clear sight and can be seen through your living room window, it can make your home an obvious target for criminals.
- Beware of branded bags and boxes
A burglar can make an educated guess as to what property you have in your home if there is a 42-inch Panasonic-branded television box in your recycling bin or a Curry’s / PC World bag underneath your Christmas tree. Kids might search the house from top to bottom to look for clues as to what they got for Christmas – a criminal might just have to look in your bins or through your windows. Some people leave boxes outside their home without even putting them in the bin – this can make their homes really vulnerable to burglars.
- Lock your doors and windows
Opportunistic thieves are known to check doors and windows at night or when a home is unoccupied, so make sure your home is properly secured overnight or when you are out of the house. If you have fairy lights and decorations in your front garden, be wary when feeding electric cables out of the window when connecting these decorations to your domestic electricity supply, and ensure you remove the cable and close the window whenever possible.
- Keep the lights on If nobody is at home, consider leaving the hallway or landing light on, as this will dissuade criminals. A well-lit front garden can also be a great security measure, but you don’t need an illuminated Father Christmas standing guard – a security light is sufficient.
- Be ready for parcel deliveries
Don’t let deliveries end up on your doorstep – this doesn’t only make it simple for people to steal your presents, but also means burglars know your home is unoccupied. Collect them from the sorting office or have them delivered to a trusted neighbour instead.
- Watch out for bogus callers
Bogus callers are a year-round problem, but Christmas opens up the opportunity for a range of new scams. Carol singers and charity collectors may well just want to spread festive joy and collect money for worthy causes, but they may be using the opportunity to check out your home or distract you while a co-conspirator breaks in through the back door.
Take out home emergency cover with us and keep your home secure 24/7! If there is ever a security incident affecting the main property of your home, such as a broken window or faulty lock, we’ll send an expert round to repair it in just a few hours.