Unfortunately this time of year provides a number of opportunities for burglars.
So here are five Christmas security tips – each may seem obvious but they bear repetition:
1. If you order online make sure items are delivered when you are at home to receive them, or have them delivered to a trusted alternative address. Also be sure to cut up packaging, especially for any expensive items, so that it will fit inside your refuse bin – never leave boxes next to the bin where they can be seen.
2. Try not to have presents visible from the window and don’t post photos of them on social media either.
3. If you go away for a few days, set your lights on a timer and leave your curtains ajar (so they look normal day or night). If you have children or dogs, leave toys in the garden to make the house look occupied.
4. Don’t lead your outdoor festive lights in through a window – as it will make it easy for burglars to open the window. Use LEDs or use an outdoor power source.
5. And one for after Christmas: empty boxes for computers, games consoles and the like will, if piled up outside the house, give a burglar some clues as to what goodies might be found indoors.
General tips to reduce the risk of becoming a burglary victim this winter
Being burgled is a traumatic experience. It’s not just the financial cost of replacing stolen items, but also the emotional impact of feeling violated after a burglar has been in your home.
You can reduce the risk of becoming a victim by looking at your home security through the eyes of a burglar. Think about how you would break in if you locked yourself out. You may be surprised at how easy it would be.
While evenings are darker, there are a few simple steps you can take to help protect your property:
- Lock your doors and windows, if you have a UPVC door make sure you have double locked it by lifting the handle and locking it with the key. Make sure the key is removed from the lock and out of reach.
- Think about purchasing a Video Doorbell Camera – This will send the footage of anyone approaching your home, to your mobile phone.
- Keep valuables out of sight from doors and windows.
- Remember to mark your valuables using a UV pen and register them on the national property register at immobilise.com.
If you are leaving the house, you can deter burglars by making your home appear occupied:
- Double check that you have locked your windows and doors before leaving.
- Light up your living room using timer switch. A TV simulator can also be used to make give the appearance of a TV screen being used.
- Invite a neighbour to park on your drive while you are away.
You can find more information on how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of burglary by downloading your FREE Home Security Guide from the Thames Valley Police website here.