Christmas can feel like a wonderful time of year – especially for burglars. Many people spend the lead up to Christmas buying gifts and treats for loved ones which gives burglars a good chance of finding something valuable no matter which homes they break into.
Here are our top tips for keeping your home secure over Christmas.
1. Deter thieves with CCTV
It is believed that 67% of domestic burglaries could be prevented by CCTV as thieves are deterred by the possibility of getting caught on camera. There are a range of CCTV cameras on the market that offer different features for securing a home all year round. These features include Smart Infra-Red night vision, Remote viewing for iPhone or Android, and Digital recordings with smart search.
If you are hoping to purchase CCTV for the first time, there are several cost-effective systems you can install. For those wishing to upgrade their current CCTV, installing a backwards-compatible system means you don’t have to replace all your existing cameras at once. This offers a more cost-effective and easy to upgrade solution.
2. Light up your home
Burglars can use the darker days around Christmas to conceal their break-ins from your neighbours. Security lights placed around your home can act as both a deterrent and an effective way to spot anyone trying to break into your home. They come on when they detect movement nearby and can be quickly and easily installed.
A lovely lit-up display of festive lights can also help to provide some much-needed illumination around your house at this time of year.
3. Avoid trailing cables from Christmas lights
While Christmas lights can help up light up your home, a common mistake many households make is to feed the power cord through the gap in an open window. Burglars actively look for this common light set-up (even on top floors) so that they can use the open window to gain access to your home.
To avoid giving intruders this opportunity, use battery or solar-powered Christmas lights or use outdoor sockets. This may mean investing in some new lights this year, but the cost is likely to be much cheaper than being robbed.
4. Don’t leave gifts out
Unless you have young children in the house, it can be easy to leave gifts you’ve bought for loved ones around the house in the lead up to Christmas. Try to keep these away from doors and windows that other people can see through – the more valuables a thief believes you have, the more tempting your house becomes as a target.
Read more about what burglars look for.
5. Don’t let your house appear vacant
If you’re going away for Christmas, do everything you can to ensure a burglar can’t find out. An empty home means a burglar has more time to complete a robbery and getaway.
Burglars often look for signs that the homeowners are on holiday e.g. a post on social media, mail left by the door, empty driveways, and no lights being turned on for a long time. Do your best to not make it clear that you’re away:
- Don’t post about your holiday on social media – instead share with a few close friends and family
- Ask a neighbour to check for mail every day
- Get a house sitter to stay while you’re away
- Set a timer on your lights to give the impression that you’re home
6. Deadbolt your doors
Intruders will often try to pick or snap the locks on your outer doors to get into your home. While you can invest in anti-snap locks to prevent this from happening, it’s also wise to add a deadbolt to your door as it cannot be interfered with from the outside and makes it more difficult (even if they manage to snap your main lock) for intruders to get through.
7. Recycle packaging carefully
If you’re lucky enough to be gifted expensive items at Christmas, be careful not to advertise your new valuables to burglars by leaving the packaging outside. Fold packaging down (ideally inside out) to fit in your recycling bin, take it to your nearest recycling centre, or only put it out right before it’s due to be collected.
8. Keep cash secure
Cash is a popular gift for those hard-to-buy-for loved ones – just be careful how you store it around the house. If you have to keep cash at home rather than in the bank, invest in a high quality safe and keep it out of view.
9. Secure garden, sheds and garages
Most people know that they need to secure their homes in some way, but many often forget to secure gardens and outbuildings like sheds and garages. These areas give intruders additional entry points to your main home area and can often be hidden from neighbours. Sheds and garages can also give intruders access to tools that will make their break-in easier.
CCTV and security lights can help here, as well as putting high-quality locks and padlocks on your shed, garage and garden gates. Read more about how to secure your garden.
Burglaries can have a significant financial, emotional and mental impact on your family. Make sure your Christmas isn’t ruined by protecting your home from break-ins. Get in touch with our experienced team for advice on 0115 9780141 or pop into our shop.