by Lisa George
During the Christmas period your home may be especially attractive to burglars, your property may be filled with expensive gifts including the latest technology, gadgets and the latest toys.
In fact, we spend more time out over the festive period, visiting relatives, Christmas shopping or attending seasonal parties which means that it’s important your property and its contents are as secure as possible.
As experts in home security, we’ve gathered a few ideas to help to ensure your property is kept as secure as possible over the festive period.
Keep your gifts hidden
Let’s start with the obvious, don’t put presents out where they can be seen, that also goes for gift-wrapped presents left under the tree, especially if they can be seen through a window or door. This gives criminals the confirmation that there’s something worth breaking into your home for and stacking them up makes it easier for a thief to steal them.
Be careful on social media
Your tree looks beautiful, you just got that laptop half price for your daughter in the Black Friday Sale, your home is full of Christmas cheer, we get it, you want to show your friends and family how well you’ve done so you take some photographs and post to Facebook or other social media networks.
This issue is that potential intruders can now see that you A. have expensive goods in your house and B. where exactly they are kept. You may be away for Christmas visiting family sharing photographs of your trip, again this gives burglars the green light that they won’t be disturbed should they wish to enter your property.
If you must share your special memories on social media then it’s worth taking some precautions:
Check your social media post security settings, on Facebook: you are able to change the post settings to appear only to friends and family and not just anyone in the public.
Don’t share times and dates of when you will be going away or when you are out. Instead, wait until you get home to share your experience with friends and family.
Avoid sharing photographs of expensive gifts if a burglar knows that your home is full of pricey items it will give them more ambition to get into your home and get hold of your goods.
Hide product packaging
Many of us now shop online for our gifts with many stores offering free postage and free returns, the promise of no queues and shopping from the comfort of your own home, what’s not to love?
This can present its own security issues, potential criminals may see boxes arriving regularly and click that gifts are being delivered, that coupled with empty boxes hanging around outside give criminals an idea of your shopping habits. Be sure to break packaging down and secure in sacks or in your bin. Make sure any delivery notes or receipts are shredded or hidden away from prying eyes.
Don’t leave notes for delivery drivers on the door
Leaving door notes for couriers such as ‘be back at 3pm’ or ‘leave with neighbour’ ‘leave in shed’ is not smart, criminals will also be able to see these notes and will know you are out or will now know where the driver is going to leave your deliveries.
Check your doors and window locks
Check once, check twice and check three times before leaving your property that doors and windows are shut and locked sufficiently. That includes making sure that windows aren’t left slightly open when you leave the house, any visible vulnerability presents a chance for burglars.
Keep your gifts away from windows
Limit the chance of smash and grab criminals by making sure that your tree or gifts aren’t next to a window, this presents an easy opportunity for them to smash a window and grab the gifts from under your tree.
Keep lights on and off
Invest in some lighting technology for your home such as a timing switch which means lights turn on and off when you are away visiting relatives over Christmas. Making it look like people are at home. Also make sure post isn’t piling up, which makes it look like no one is home. Ask a neighbour to check in regularly to clear postage and open/close curtains.
Security lighting can act as a great deterrent, set to switch on by motion this acts to startle intruders or at least let neighbours know a possible intruder is lurking.
CCTV and Security Cameras
Use CCTV and good security lighting. The lighting may act as a deterrent to thieves and will also aid the CCTV in identifying the perpetrator should you get burgled.
Intruder Alarms can both deter criminals and alert you or your security company to the fact that there is an unwanted person on your property.