It might well be the cosiest time of the year, but as those darker nights draw in this winter, it’s also prime operation time for opportunistic thieves. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to keep your home and belongings safe at Christmas – you can’t count on ‘Home Alone’ tactics to ward off the modern-day burglar.
Here are our five top tips to protect your property...
1.Ensure your home stays secure
Just because it’s the season of joy and goodwill, doesn’t mean thieves will share your outlook. Ensure your house remains secure over the holiday season by investing in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to make anyone approaching your home conspicuous. However, be sure to use solar powered or battery operated lighting rather than leaving windows ajar for cables.
2.Don’t broadcast when you’re away
While it’s all too tempting to broadcast your winter travels on social media, be aware that thieves use these channels to choose their next target. Additionally, watchful eyes could be studying the neighbourhood, looking for signs that anyone is out of town. Try to find a trusted neighbour who could drop in on your home while you’re away or park on the driveway to give the impression someone is inside. You could also use lights on a timer to keep potential thieves guessing.
3.Keep gifts out of sight
Keep any gifts out of sight to avoid tempting would-be thieves who might peek through your windows. Remember, too, that those dark evenings mean a well-lit house could have you and your belongings on display – draw the curtains or blinds as the night sets in. Looking beyond presents, make sure your house and car keys are also kept well away from prying eyes – remember thieves can use a wire and hook to grab them through the letterbox .
4.Fire safety comes first
While they give the home a fabulous festive ambience, poorly placed candles or unsupervised open log fires wreak havoc on properties every year. Position flammable items in safe areas, never leave naked flames unsupervised and consider keeping a small fire extinguisher in the house to take care of any accidents before they become emergencies. A robust smoke detector will also help keep you and your family safe and could even cut costs when it comes to home insurance. Remember to turn your Christmas tree lights off before you go to bed, too.
5.Check your home insurance
Not only do the usual risks to your property still apply during the festive season, the stakes are raised due to the number of expensive Christmas presents bought for loved ones. When you consider the fact that over a third of the population don’t have a home contents insurance policy – according to The Government’s Financial Inclusion Commission – this could spell disaster, should your home be broken into or a fire break out.
While the monthly fee for a home insurance policy might seem like an extra expense you just don’t need at Christmas, the knowledge that you’re covered should anything befall your home or belongings is, quite simply, priceless.
We offer home insurance policies that include extra cover at Christmas, so that you can enjoy peace of mind during the holidays as well as the rest of the year. If you’re unsure whether your current policy is up to scratch, check it now – it might be worth an upgrade.