It may be the season of giving, but that doesn’t mean you should give away too much. While Christmas may be all about goodwill and peace to fellow man for many, for a select few, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to commit a crime. It’s a sad state of affairs but Christmas time is an incredibly prosperous time for burglars.
With expensive presents stacked beneath the tree and homes empty whilst you visit family, go on last minute shopping trips and spend time with friends at the pub, you are providing thieves with easy pickings.
Christmas time is not only a busy time for shoppers but a busy time for burglars. Whilst on the whole burglary is declining, last year Halifax recorded a 25% increase in Burglary over the festive season. The total number of claims in December last year reached 1,382 with an average of nearly 50 claims being made each day over the Christmas period according to Halifax.
So why are Burglars more likely to strike over the Christmas period? The simple reason is that homes are full of Christmas presents and are more likely to be left unattended while parties are in full swing. Martyn Foulds a senior claims manager from Halifax said “It’s not just Macaulay Culkin who will be Home Alone this Christmas. Presents across the country will be left unattended, leaving homes more open to thieves”
Here at Safeguard Security we have devised some top tips on how to beat the Christmas burglars
Top Tip #1 Motion Sensors
Buy a motion sensor floodlight or even some outdoor Christmas lights, this will make approaching a property too visible for a ‘would be burglar’.
Top Tip #2 Battery or solar powered lights
A mistake a lot of people make is to feed extension cables powering external lights through partially opened windows. This would make it incredibly easy for a burglar. Always opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electric outlets.
Top Tip #3 Dispose of gift packaging
Make sure you dispose of boxes quickly. Don’t leave boxes out for the refuge collectors, particularly packaging for expensive electrical items, as you are advertising to burglars that you have expensive items in your property! So break up packaging and take it to the local recycling plant.
Top Tip #4 Do not advertise your home to burglars on social media
Strange as it may seem burglars are turning to social media to scout for potential targets. Some people tend to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season. This lets burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Also uploading your expensive Christmas gifts on Facebook is another bad idea, as you are advertising all the expensive items that are available to be taken from your house!
Top Tip #5 Check doors and windows for weak spots
According to government statistics 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Just by installing some dead bolts and window hinges could you increase the security of your home significantly.
Top Tip #6 Close curtains at night
Always make sure your curtains are kept closed at night so as to keep your valuables out of sight. Also use timers for the lights in your to give the illusion that your property is occupied.
Top Tip #7 Lock up your garden tools
Remember to always lock up your garden furniture and tools as these could be used to break into
Top Tip #8 Plan ahead
If you are going away over the festive period then do not forget to plan ahead. This means cancelling any newspaper or milk subscriptions. Also arrange for a neighbour to park on your drive to give the impression that somebody is there.
Top Tip #9 Do not hide your keys
Burglars know where to look for hidden door keys such as under flower pots or above door ledges. If you have spare keys always leave them with a trusted third party such as a family member or a neighbour.
Top Tip #10 Register your gifts on immobilise
Most modern electrical items have a unique identification codes such as a serial number on a phone. If your gift doesn’t have a unique identification code then there are several identification marking kits that are available from the immobilise store. Should your items be stolen then the police can easily identify items and return them to their owners should they be recovered.