Christmas is the time of year when our homes are put in the spotlight. As we throw ourselves into decorating and illuminating - both inside and out - it means our properties are on display to the big wide world more than ever.
And that’s before you consider the amount of expensive presents which are wrapped and placed invitingly under the Christmas tree, or that may be hidden away on the premises - like a new bicycle - ready to be wheeled out as a wonderful surprise on the big day.
Sadly, there are plenty of people out there who won’t give two hoots about putting the mockers on the family festivities. Christmas, more so than any other time of year, is a potential gold mine for house burglars. Not surprisingly, police forces across the country report that the Xmas and New Year period is one of the busiest for reported break-ins.
So it makes sense to do everything you can to avoid being part of the crime statistics. And that means being extra vigilant and security conscious – even if you live in a safe, low crime neighbourhood.
The good news is that there’s plenty you can do to take preventative measures and deter thieves from entering your home.
Here are six Justice Fire and Security tips to keeping safe this Christmas and preventing opportunistic thieves from turning what should be a memorable time into a miserable one.
If you have a Christmas tree in clear sight through a downstairs window, tempting as it is, try not to leave presents around it. Keep wrapped gifts away from prying eyes – you don’t want them being part of someone else’s Christmas and having yours ruined. If you do want to place gifts round the tree, think about placing them there once everyone’s gathered round and they are ready to be opened, rather than days in advance.
Leaving valuables on display is never a good idea, but at Christmas time it pays to be especially careful. Once the presents have been unwrapped, make sure you don’t leave lots of empty boxes that may have contained expensive TV sets, computers or video games lying around ready for rubbish collection. This could be a big clue to thieves that there are plenty of brand new, high quality goods in the property.
Don’t leave keys lying around that could be spotted by prying eyes. If you have French windows or glass doors with keys left in the lock, this might provide an easy entry point.Put keys away in drawers, but in a familiar place to you, just in case you need to exit the property speedily in an emergency.
At night, lock doors and windows. A kitchen window, inadvertently left open at the back of the property, could be just the invitation a burglar might need to break in during the wee small hours.
Don’t leave burglars with an easy means of access from the outside by leaving things lying around in your garden like ladders and tools. Tell your neighbours to be vigilant as well. You don’t want a burglar using a ladder from someone else’s property to gain access to your home!
A longer term, burglar-proof solution would be to have an intruder alarm system installed. Indeed, if you have security concerns, this could be the best present you buy for yourself this winter. We would be happy to advise on the most appropriate system to suit your property and budget. For further information, call us on 0845 468 0927.
In the meantime, it is our most fervent wish that you and your loved ones stay safe this Christmas and have a fantastic, festive holiday season.