Christmas is the time of year for gifts, some small, some of the more expensive kind. With the promise of expensive gifts around the corner, Burglars are already on the prowl looking for their Christmas targets.
The last thing anyone wants at Christmas is to wake up to no gifts to give (or receive), and instead be left feeling vulnerable and frightened that a stranger managed to enter their home. Christmas is about family and cheer. Not misery and fear.
There are ways to prevent and better protect your home at Christmas. So read through these tips and make sure your family’s Christmas is safe and protected.
Tip 1- Lock your Windows and Doors
Okay so this one seems obvious, but you’d be surprise how many forget to do this. Before you leave your home or even before you turn in for the night, do a swept around your home. Make sure all your windows are shut and lock up your front and back doors. You can make this more effective by adding bolts and chains to your door; this makes it even harder for anyone to break through your door.
Tip 2- Don’t Advertise your Home
Many people unintentionally advertise their home to burglars. By turning lights off when you’ve gone to bed or left the house for the night, highlights to a burglar that you’re not home or are in a current state to not be alerted to their presence. Leave lights on. If a Burglar sees that someone could be there or awake, they are less likely to target your home.
Don’t leave your tree and gifts on display! Many people tend to place their tree in their front room, right by the main window at the front of the house with the gifts sitting underneath. This is an easy target for a burglar. They don’t need a well thought out plan to get to those gifts. Just one quick smash of the window and they could be making off with that new IPhone you brought for your daughter. Keep your tree out of sight and away from the window if you can. This makes your gifts harder to get to and less of an easy score. This may not always be possible as it may be the only place you have space. If that’s the case, considering adding blinds or closing your curtains. This will keep your tree and presents out of sight of any burglars.
Tip 3- Take Care with your Gifts
When it comes to your gifts, take precautions. No one really wants to really think about what might happen if their gifts fell into the hands of a burglar, but it wouldn’t hurt to consider it. When buying your gifts, keep all your receipts separate and make a note of any model/serial numbers. This will ensure you have a record of your items and will stop thieves from returning your items to stores.
Consider not directly putting your gifts under the tree for the Christmas period, maybe on Christmas Eve but not beforehand. Try finding some obscure places to hide your gifts (of course places your family can’t find them too), so instead of under your bed or in your wardrobe considering maybe putting them up the attic. Burglars are less likely to be able to get into the attic.
Think about using a permanent marker to add your postcode to the boxes on your gifts. This will make your gifts less attractive to burglars and could make them more likely to be returned to you by police.
When it comes to dealing with boxes left over from gifts on Christmas Day, ensure you rip them up. By making it less obvious and harder to tell what the boxes were for, burglars won’t be aware of the new items that have entered your home. Ruling you out as a target as they won’t know what they could be stealing. You could even consider wanting to take your boxes to the tip as soon as it’s open. This quickly discards all evidence of the goods that have entered your home, leaving burglar’s in the dark about the contents of your home.
Tip 4- Security, Security and more Security
It doesn’t hurt to be over-prepared. Take a good look at all the aspects of your home. Is something not a secure as it could be? What could a burglar use to his advantage to get into my home?
Sometimes it isn’t enough to just lock your windows and doors. There are still ways that a burglar can get in. Adding extra bolts to your garden gates or maybe even padlocks can boost security. These padlocks don’t have to be locked at all hours of the day, but if no one’s home or it’s getting on to evening ensure they are locked tight.
Secure sheds and garages. Adding extra bolts and locks to your sheds and garages can ensure burglars don’t gain access to any potential tools that they could use to break into your home. Keep you tools locked away securely, you don’t want a burglar getting their hands on them.
Take a look at your bins or any equipment (such as a trampoline for the kids) in your garden. Could any of these be used as a makeshift ladder? The answer is often yes. Keep them chained up or bolted down, this will prevent them for being moved by burglars to gain access to your home.
Get a security alarm and/or camera system installed in your home. Security systems can add further peace of mind that your home is protected. Security alarms and cameras can monitor your property from unauthorised access, and prevent burglars. By simply seeing the camera on the side of your house, burglars can be easily disheartened. They won’t want to risk it and are less likely to target your home.
Tip 5- Little Things you can do
A lot of security precautions can be big and daunting, especially if it comes to purchasing new locks and chains. But there are still little things you can do to decrease your chances of being targeted.
Get on a good basis with your neighbours. Not everyone gets on with your neighbours, but it’s not necessary for you to become best friends with them (if that happens, great! Glad you’ve got a best friend on your doorstep!). If you get on a good basis with your neighbour, you can you ask them for small favours in regards to your home. If you’re away or out, neighbours can keep an eye on your property and are more likely to report suspicious activity if you are on good terms. You could even ask them to take in any mail that might collect on your front door, ensuring it is even less obvious when you’re not there. If you’ve built up your trust well with your neighbour, you might even consider leaving a spare key with them in case of emergency. This makes it easier for them to enter and keep a better eye on your home when you’re not there. (Of course only do this if you trust your neighbour completely to enter your home without you there. Don’t leave a spare key with someone you don’t 100% trust!) Plus if you forget your key, you’ve got somewhere to go to pick up another.
Add outside lighting to your home. By adding more light, it is easier to spot burglars coming. The more likely there are to be seen, the less likely they are to target your property. Think about sorting through your garden or drive, looking for any opportunities for burglars to conceal themselves. Take a look at plants. Are bushes too overgrown? Are trees to high? Don’t think you need to demolish your plant arrangements. Just kept them smaller and better maintained, well-trimmed bushes and smaller trees are harder to conceal a burglar.
Empty driveways tend to be a big giveaway to burglars that no one is home (I mean sure you can’t help this if you don’t have a car). If you’re going to be away, considering leaving a car on your driveway. This might not always be possible, especially if you have one car that you are using whilst away. But if you have two cars, use one for travelling and the other to park on your drive. This indicates to burglars that someone is in. Hell you could even borrow a neighbour’s car to put on your drive, if they have two cars. This gives them an extra parking space to use whilst you’re away, and adds to your home’s security. (Again only really do this if you trust your neighbours completely!)
If you have a dog, clearly sign post it on your property. Burglars are less likely to enter a property that has a dog on site. Dogs add an area of unpredictability that burglars can’t plan for. If there are elements they can’t plan for, they are less likely to enter a premise.
Look at your drive. Is there something you can add that makes noise when people are moving towards the house? Some reformed burglars have stated that they tended to avoid driveways with gravel, as it makes too much noise and could bring attention to them. You don’t have to cover you entire driveway and garden with gravel, but consider having some around your doors and downstairs windows. So anywhere they may enter you property, they may run the risk of making noise and drawing attention to themselves.
If you truly are afraid that your home maybe targeted this Christmas, consider and follow as many of these tips as you can. Sure there may still be a chance it could happen, but it lessens the odds and keeps your home secure. For true peace of mind, consider purchasing a Security alarm/camera system to keep an eye on your property when you can’t.
Ensure to make your home as safe as possible this Christmas.