The tree has been decorated, the table is set, and the gifts are wrapped. You’re looking forward to Christmas – but bear in mind – thieves are eagerly awaiting it too. Over the past couple of years, there has been a substantial rise in burglaries. In 2019, Halifax Home Insurance reported a 35% increase in claims for forced burglary in the darker months. compared to lighter months
Life becomes so hectic during the holiday season that we often forget about any dangers that may be lurking – some in our very own neighbourhoods. With the nights drawing in and no future lockdowns looming forcing us to stay indoors, it’s been suggested that break-ins rise by over 20% during this time. We don’t want you to be part of another statistic.
Here’s what you can do to keep burglars at bay:
Keep your travel plans offline
If you’re planning to travel during the Christmas period, be sure to keep your travel plans off of your social media networks. Never post where you’re going, when you’re leaving, or when you’ll be back.
This is valuable information for a burglar because they’ll know the exact moments when your house is or will be empty. Even if you have the highest level of security on your Facebook or Instagram accounts, posting this kind of information is never a promising idea – especially if your account is public. Publicly oversharing can often be dangerous, and it’s vital that we don’t let this knowledge fall into the wrong person’s hands.
Notify a Neighbour
Make sure that you inform a neighbour or a person nearby that you can trust when you will be away from your home, particularly if it’s for a lengthy period of time. That way, you can feel comforted knowing that a person close by is keeping an eye out and looking after your property. Alternatively, if you live in an apartment or don’t have a neighbour or friend that you can turn to and you want to treat yourself this Christmas, we can install your property with its very own security system to help monitor your property whilst you’re away.
Keep packages and gifts out of view
Avoid leaving presents under the tree until the night before or the morning of Christmas Day. This way, burglars will no longer be tempted by the sight of valuables that can easily be viewed from the street. Equally, encourage your delivery couriers to leave your long-awaited packages in a safe, out-of-the-way space if possible.
Before you leave the house, ensure that all of your external doors are double locked and secure, as well as any internal rooms that may be storing gifts. Research has found that 40% of UK residents don’t check whether their windows are locked before they leave the house, whilst 29% fail to even check their door. Don’t become a part of this statistic.
Thieves will go fishing. Although it may be tempting to leave your house keys by your front door, it’s also tempting for burglars and opportunities to break into your property. Letterbox Fishing is a common method used by burglars to retrieve your keys, wallet or valuables through your letterbox using a long, hooked rod – all without having to step foot inside. Leave all of these items further away from the front door or out of view to prevent this from happening.
With gift deliveries soaring and engineers visiting homes more during this period, it may become the norm to open your front door more – even if you aren’t expecting anyone. Don’t let yourself become a victim of Distraction Burglary. Keeping an eye on who is visiting your property either via your peephole or a CCTV system in your home can warn you ahead of time in case there are people trying to dupe you into entering your home.
We’ve all seen the famous Christmas film Home Alone – and although it may all seem farfetched – you could still be at risk of being burgled this Christmas. Present your house as if you are currently home. Leave the right number of lights on, including your television to make it appear that someone is present at your property. If you are a landlord or managing agent, this time of the year might cause great stress. You may have vacant properties in between your tenants. We understand you cannot always get to the property, and you don’t have the capacity to constantly check on it. Beat burglaries with our vacant property inspections can give you peace of mind over the holidays. Your property can be checked, daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on your needs.
Don’t Hide a Key
Leaving your car or spare house keys near your letterbox, under a flowerpot, doormat, or any other feature near the front or back of your property is never a safe or secure option. This remains a rookie mistake amongst homeowners, particularly during the winter months when the nights are drawing in and security becomes more of a concern. Keep your valuables on you or safe in your home at all times.
Keep Outbuildings Locked
Burglars will always target garages, sheds, and any other outbuildings that you may have in search of expensive tools, cars, bikes, and mopeds. Installing appropriate lighting, motion sensor detection and alarms will also function as an effective deterrent, especially for any valuables that you may stow away in your garden.
Recycle and Destroy Receipts/Labelling
After Christmas Day, we all tend to throw wrapping paper, receipts and labels away in a bit of a frenzy. However, this can function as a trail of breadcrumbs for burglars and opportunists. Anyone who can gain access to your rubbish or recycling will also be able to see what you have been buying and spending. Shredding or destroying this information will keep your valuables a secret – not just from nosy neighbours, but potential thieves too.
Keep Your Property Lit
With the winter nights drawing in, the leaves changing and the colder weather rolling in, you’ll need to ensure that the front and back of your property has security lights installed. Not only for personal safety but to deter burglars and vandalism. Burglars thrive in the dark. Motion-detector lights will instantly bring attention to anyone near your driveway, front door, porch, or back garden; lighting up any suspicious characters that might be trying their luck.
Here at Crown Security, we want you to enjoy your festivities. No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing – you can count on us. You should feel safe in the knowledge that your property is protected by us during the weeks and days leading up to each festive event.
With our security services, we can offer you a wide range of options that will be tailored to your property’s unique needs – whether it’s your home or place of business. Implementing forms of manned guarding, mobile patrols or using our keyholding services are all guaranteed ways to protect your assets this Christmas.
By thinking ahead and celebrating safely and responsibly, you’ll be preventing major distress, and won’t have to deal with the aftermath and trauma of a burglary.
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