Christmas trees decked with baubles and laden with presents are a lovely sight, especially for burglars, so it is more important than ever to make sure your home is secure at this time of year.
During the whirlwind of Christmas shopping trips, festive activities and frequent visitors home security can slip and, as a consequence, burglaries increase by up to 20% over the winter months. With this in mind, the security experts at Yale have come up with some seasonal advice to stop the Grinch stealing your Christmas.
Who’s at the door?
‘Tis the season to be jolly and with more frequent visits from family and friends, as well as the odd carol singer, Yale recommends you look through your front door ‘spy hole’ and enable the door chain before swinging it open. Only release the chain if you are satisfied that the person at the door is really who they say they are and have identification to prove the purpose of their visit – if you are unsure, keep them out.
For the latest in security technology, Yale’s recording digital door viewer has a built in camera so you can take still pictures of anyone who is at the door if you are unsure of their motives..
Raise the alarm
As well as visiting loved ones at Christmas more of us are enjoying winter breaks, so it’s important to make sure your home is protected while you’re away. Home alarms act as the perfect ‘security guard’, watching over your property while you’re not there.
Alarms act as visual deterrents to potential burglars and are vital for alerting neighbours in the event of a break-in. Yale’s Easy Fit Alarm kits are quick and easy to install, and offer discreet protection for all types of properties, from flats to large family homes.
Fact: Thieves can get through any hole bigger than a human head
Stacking our homes with the latest gadgets, laptops and expensive jewellery provides thieves with the perfect incentive to commit burglaries.
Make sure all doors and windows are fitted with secure locks in line with British standards. External timber doors should be secured using a mortice lock and/or nightlatch approved to BS3621:2007 and if you have a PVCu or composite door then it is a good idea to upgrade the euro profile cylinder in your multi-point lock to the British Standard TS007 as well (look for the Kitemark on lock packs and on the lock itself). Locks are also available for all types of windows, including wooden, aluminium and PVCu, as well as French doors and patio doors.
The great outdoors
Outdoor thefts are almost 20% higher compared with five years ago and at this time of year sheds are often used to store Christmas presents such as bicycles and power tools. You can secure your outbuildings with a weather-proof padlock to help deter would-be thieves and protect against unwanted intruders. Anchor locks and cables can also be used to secure high value individual items inside an outbuilding.
During winter, and especially around Christmas, you are more susceptible to fraud, as the increase in larger purchases, internet shopping and a busy social calendar means you are less likely to notice unusual activity on your account. To protect yourself, keep your gift receipts in a home safe that’s bolted securely to the floor or wall.
Christmas party safety
It’s easy to let your hair down and enjoy your Christmas party if your follow a few golden rules. Plan your journey home and use a reputable taxi company. If you’re left in a position where you are on your own try to stick to well it areas and carry a personal attack alarm for peace of mind.
Don’t advertise your presents
Be careful to dispose of gift packaging carefully. Rubbish collections over the Christmas and New Year period are often at different times, so remember to take note of any changes. Make sure you put your rubbish out just before the collection and shred any details you wouldn’t want people to see.
You should also resist the urge to advertise your new Christmas gifts to everyone on Facebook. You don’t want to create a catalogue for burglars to choose from – especially if you tag yourself at an airport three days later!
By following these simple tips you can help protect your belongings, homes and families over the festive period, ensuring everyone has a very merry – and safe – Christmas.