It’s getting to that time of year where the shops start to get busier, high streets flood with shoppers and your hard earned money gradually seems to slip out of your bank account – you guessed it, it’s the Christmas season.
According to research from YouGov, the average UK household will spend around £822 on Christmas this year. This means that the worth of your home, or at least what’s inside it, drastically rises, and unfortunately burglars know this! It is this time of year that your house becomes a gold mine, and as such you need to be careful with how you protect your possessions.
Fortunately we have a few simple steps that will ensure any burglar thinks twice before entering your home:
Light up Your Home
With the clocks going back recently and the days now becoming shorter, burglars now have an increased window of opportunity to break into your house under the cover of darkness. Don’t let this be the case.
By lighting up your home, not only are you making the burglar visible to by-passers, but you are also giving off the impression that somebody is awake within the home. We do understand that not everyone wants a light on in his or her home all night though, so one other thing to consider is installing a motion sensor flood light in your front and back garden. You can pick these up at a reasonably good price; you can purchase them from Argos for just £23.09.
Seeing as though it is the festive period, how about also investing in some Christmas lights for decoration; they look good as well as brightening up your home, it’s a win win situation.
Don’t Invite Burglars Through Open Windows and Doors
As we have just discussed, light is great for deterring thieves and keeping them away from your property. It can, however, also be the one thing that lures them in.
Many Christmas lights that are put on the exterior of a property are powered by an extension cord from the inside of the house, meaning a window will need to be ajar throughout the night to keep the lights running. Over the years, burglars have come to understand this, and therefore target these types of property more often.
Before going to bed, make sure you secure all of the windows and doors in your home, this may mean switching the Christmas lights off, but it’s just whilst you sleep.
Prepare Before Taking a Trip
Christmas is the time to see friends and spend quality time with family. This being said, it is common for homeowners to leave their homes unattended for a long period of time over the Christmas period. If this sounds like you, then you need to be careful and prepare.
It is important to throw off burglars, making them believe that somebody is still in the home. If you aren’t friendly with your neighbor, try to be. It is good practice for you to ask your them to clear any post left outside your front door and even park one of their cars on your drive way whilst your gone, giving the illusion that somebody is in the house.
Don’t Showboat Your Possessions
Think of your home as a shop window to thieves. If you see something you want in the display window of a shop, you would go in and take a look. Well this is the same as a thief walking by your home; they see something they want, they try and go in and get it.
Make sure anything of value is kept away from the windows and out of site of any passers by. As well as this, one thing many homeowners forget is that bins are an easy way of telling what is inside the home, or what somebody has got for Christmas.
Lets say you got your children a TV and games console each, you are likely to dispose of the packaging in an outside bin. Thieves are accustomed to this, and will regularly sneak into a homeowners bin to see what new items they have - in this case they would see that there is a brand new TV and a games console within this house.
If you do happen to have packaging like this, keep it inside until you can properly dispose of it.
It is often down to a homeowner’s lack of focus and caution that houses are burgled. Too often people just nip to the shop, not feeling the need to secure their home as they are only going to be gone two minutes. It only takes a burglar 30 seconds to grab your TV!
Make sure you are being smart with your property. If you have sliding doors or latch locks, make sure they are fully secured with additional lock systems, as these types of doors are some of the easiest to pick and enter without force.
As well as this, don’t leave a key out for your family or friends. As convenient as it may be to leave a key under the doormat or plant pot, it is not worth the cost of replacing stolen goods from your home. Burglars have been checking under plant pots, doormats or any kind of garden furniture to find a key to the house for decades, therefore no matter how clever you think your hiding place is, they will most likely check it and enter your house.
Christmas should be a time for fun, not despair, so don’t make your home an easy target. Follow these simple steps and you should have a safe and secure home to enjoy over the festive period.
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