It’s the most wonderful time of the year. You’ve finished your shopping, wrapped all the gifts, got a fridge full of food and the cupboards are jam-packed with enough biscuits, chocolates and mince pies to feed the entire neighbourhood with some to spare. It should be time to kick back, relax and enjoy some Christmas telly, but don’t get too complacent when it comes to home security over the holiday season.
You’ve worked hard all year to save up for the best gifts, tree and decorations money can buy – so why put it all at risk by forgetting take a few basic precautions? You probably already know that this time of year is like a goldmine for criminals, but most people assume it will never happen to them.
However, a recent study by Direct Blinds has shown that people’s home security could be in jeopardy this Christmas.
More than a third of Brits are planning a Christmas getaway this year, so don’t forget to make sure you have someone around to check that your home is safe if you’re going away for a few days. 72% of people said that they feel safest knowing that their homes are being checked in on by a friend, neighbour or family member. Despite this, only a tiny 10% regularly request this favour from a trusted person. Shockingly, more than a third admit that they fail to make any provisions before they go away on holiday.
We suggest setting a timer on your lights to make it look like people are home whilst you’re out. It’s also a good idea to ask a friend to take out your bins and remove any mail from behind the door, as keen eyes will be on the lookout for the telltale signs of an empty home.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media either. Oversharing online and letting people know that your property is empty can leave you open to criminal damage and theft. Even though 56.7% of Brits are aware that their actions online could be a threat to their home security 50% of people still share information on social media whilst away on holiday. Simple things like sharing photos, ‘checking in’ to bars and restaurants and tagging yourself at the airport before you jet off can act as signals that your home is an easy target.
Don’t forget to prioritise safety when you’re staying home for the festive period too. Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are in full working order. Not only will this give you peace of mind for any electrical fires but should also act as a friendly reminder for when the turkey’s done! Remember to turn off all fairy lights before bed and whenever you leave the house.
Although it’s tradition to keep your presents out on display under the tree. It’s not advisable to do this as anyone peering through the window will see exactly how much you have to offer. Try to keep them locked away safely until Christmas Eve and keep curtains closed once you’ve put them under the tree.
When you pop out – even if it’s just for a few hours – be sure to remove any spare keys which you have hidden around the garden. You’d be surprised how easy they are to find. Make sure you double-check that all doors and windows are locked, not forgetting sheds and garages too. Beware of running cables via open windows to keep your outdoor lights glowing, as this creates an easy way for burglars to enter the home.
Finally, make sure you’re fully equipped with a home alarm system. And do make sure it’s in full working order. Remember to set it wherever you leave, even if it’s just to pop to the shop for an extra bottle of fizz.
Now sit back, relax and enjoy a stress-free festive break!