As the festive period grows closer we all turn our attention to the better things in life, the festive music, events, family time and all the fun and frolicks of the season. But it’s also the time of year when our homes can become a target without us even realising. Many of us are away from home more than usual as we’re visiting relatives and our homes are left unoccupied for longer periods of time with us shopping or having fun at festive events. Although it’s the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season is also the perfect time for opportunists to take advantage – did you know crime rates can increase by as much as 20% in December.
According to an article in The Independent on average we spend £821.25 on gifts, food, drink and decorations during the festive period, add to that the gifts we receive our homes become the perfect targets for would-be thieves, but there are a few things we can do to ensure that our home is safe and not an easy target both over the festive period and always including:
Have a home alarm
Having a home alarm system will help protect your home. It can often be enough of a deterrent to stop someone from trying to break into your home, should they break in the alarm will go off alerting anyone nearby to the presence of an intruder. Not only that but having an alarm can bring your home insurance down in price and will give you peace of mind whilst you are away. Modern systems can even be hooked up to a camera so that you can see what is happening should your alarm go off.
Install security cameras
One sure way of keeping your home safe is to install security cameras. These days you can pick up a package relatively cheaply and have them installed for a small fee too. You can buy cameras that are hardly noticable too so that they blend in with your home exteriors or are discreet so as not to stand out too much. Most cameras also come with software that can be installed on your smartphone so no matter where you are, you can see what is going on back at home.
Using Timer switches
If you are planning to go away over the festive period or be away from home later than usual, use a timer switch to turn lights on around the house so that it looks like someone is home after dark. Failing that if you have a close friend or neighbour who you trust, you could ask them to come in and switch lights on for you.
Keep your windows and doors locked
When you leave your house double check that all your windows and doors are locked. This may sound like something that is common sense but it’s so easily overlooked when you are busy and in a hurry to get out of the house on time. Make sure any spare keys are not on show as thieves have been known to use all sorts of ways to get hold of keys even when they are inside. If you have pets that use a door flap consider changing it for a Microchip flap so that it only opens when your pet is ready to leave or enter your home. This will stop unwanted animals entering your house and will stop anyone trying to gain entry by reaching for keys through the flap too.
Don’t be too vocal on social media
Nobody likes a bragger – last year I lost count of the number of photos I saw on Facebook showing how many presents were left out “after Santa had been” or what everyone had been bought on Christmas morning. It’s lovely seeing everyone’s presents but you never know who is looking at your pictures and are your friends really your friends? or more to the point the people they know… all I’m saying is be careful who you show your lovely new things too. Another tip is not to put all your empty boxes out with the recycling especially if they used to contain big and expensive items – take them to the tip or squash them to fit in your box. Don’t advertise the fact that you’ve just had something nice and expensive added to your home – it’s like a neon sign to would be burglars telling them to come and see what else you have. Similarly, if you are one of those people who likes to update Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with holiday snaps whilst you away maybe wait until you get home so that you can share all your lovely pictures from the safety of your home. If you are contantly updating everyone about your amazing time away you might just come home to a not so amazing break in.
*This is a collaborative post*