The period stretching from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day isn’t only fun for us. It’s also fun for Christmas criminals who are rubbing their hands together in anticipation as they think of the potentially unguarded homes that may be full of treasures with a high street value. Let’s not delude ourselves that goodwill to all men is a concept held in high esteem by the thieving fraternity. For them, the festive goodwill starts and ends with themselves and they’re looking forward to getting away with a lot of loot. But what can we do to keep ourselves safe during this vulnerable time of year? We need to take one or two steps at the very least, especially if we’re going away or driving to nearby relations for lunch or dinner. Given that burglary is estimated to increase by over 15 per cent during the Christmas period, it can’t hurt to be prepared. Here we present some guidance to help you feel a bit more secure.
Think about what’s visible through your windows. Are there piles of wrapped presents nestled temptingly beneath a glittering tree? This could prove seductive to anyone casing the joint.
Put your valuables into the safe. If your safe is properly bolted to the wall (or floor), then so much the better. Into it can go cash, jewellery, expensive devices and more.
Up your home security with one of the plethora of devices that have come on to the market in recent years, using smart technology to allow you to see inside your home via your smartphone. Some of them can even alert you when they detect any sort of motion – and a lot of them are affordable.
Use your alarm. Some people feel that the appearance of their alarm is enough to be a deterrent and they don’t always both setting it. If you’ve become lax in this regard, it’s time to become stringent again. You could also overhaul your alarm to bring it up to date and acquire one that sends updates and alerts to your mobile.
Do a thorough check of each room, to make sure all windows and doors are locked before you leave. The easier to overlook one or two of them, the larger your house is.
Consider overhauling your front- and back-door locks if they’re significantly out of date. The advice is, generally speaking, that timber doors should have nightlatch or mortice locks (meeting BS3621 standards) and PVC/composite doors should have locks with a TS007 kite-marked cylinder.
Lastly – think about your rubbish. Have you just thrown out the packaging of all those expensive gifts? If so, a potential burglar perusing your bins will be able to find out all about the lovely new things you’ve got in your house. So think carefully about how you dispose of packaging.