by Lisa George
Security of your home is very important.
Every year we read stories in the news of families who have had their Christmas ruined as a result of a burglary. With Christmas providing intruders with more opportunities than usual, and many leaving their homes unoccupied. Packaging is often left beside bins or Christmas lights run through the windows. All of the above provide a weakness in the security of a property that allows for easier access from unwanted intruders.
Every year we are warned of the increase crime risk that the festive season brings. Burglaries in the UK increase by up to 28% in the week leading up to Christmas Day and in Kent during the period between Nov 2017 – Jan 2018 there were 8,137 recorded incidents of theft, burglary and robbery.
Many of the property owners we speak to seek support following an intruder breaking into their property.
45% do not activate their home alarm system
This month we ran an online poll of residents to understand how secure they feel in their home iduring the festive period. The results were very interesting with over a third of respondents admitting to ‘throwing caution to the wind’ when it came to their home security.
- 54% stated that they had a home security system in place yet just 65% admitted to always activating it when they were away from their property.
- 51% of our poll do not have a home security system in place. Just under half of this group felt “somewhat to not at all confident” in feeling secure in their home.
- Most surprisingly was the 35% without a home alarm, who admitted to leaving Christmas presents in view of outsiders. They also admitted to running exterior festive lights through windows.
- 54% of those without a security system will also share their home Christmas preparations on social media.
5 ways to increase the security of your home this Christmas
The police and many neighbourhood watch groups offer reminders and suggestions on how to keep your home safe. Brook Security reminds residents of the following tips to deter intruders from targeting your property;
- If you have an alarm, ensure that it is being used. Especially when the property is vacant. Many burglars do not want to bump into residents and will actively target unoccupied homes.
- Have an outside electrical point installed for Christmas lights. Remember that some insurers may not pay out if your home is entered via a window that was not secured.
- When posting on social media, check your privacy settings and switch off your location when sharing photos at home. Thieves have been known to target victims as a result of searching location-based posts and spotting items in the background of photos.
- Take boxes,/carrier bags from expensive shops straight to a Household Waste Recycling site. That way they are not visible and connected to your property.
- If you are away over the Christmas period, invest in timers for your lamps. If you have a Smart Home device manage devices, such as lights, TV or radio. Ask a neighbour to put out your waste bins to appear as if the home is occupied.
Better safe than sorry.
If you haven’t got a system installed yet follow the tips above. This will ensure you are not ‘advertising’ your home and its contents to potential intruders. Give us a call to talk about arranging a survey of your home and a no obligation quote.