Don't give burglars an early Christmas present by making it easy to break in.
The weeks leading up to Christmas Day are the biggest shopping times of the year, with many retailers placing most of their hopes on festive trading.
With that in mind, there is likely to be a surplus of expensive gifts lying around the house in the lead up to the big day that burglars would love to get their hands on.
It is important not to make it easy for any would-be thieves by showing off the different items you have in the home. The more precautions people take, the harder it will be for thieves to spoil any Christmas and New Year celebrations, so make sure you are extra vigilant this year.
Keep things out of sight
This is very much safety 101 in the home, but you need to make sure you don't present your house as one that would be attractive to burgle. While household burglaries and theft from vehicles remain relatively low across the UK, it is absolutely vital offenders aren't encouraged to steal.
Therefore, Christmas trees should be out of sight and away from front windows that face the street and presents should most certainly not be left on display. Store presents in secure places out of sight until the last moment.
Electronic gadgets and other valuable items should be property marked, which will make anything stolen much harder to sell and also makes it more likely the gifts will be recovered.
Timer switches and lights should be used when out celebrating to give the impression that somebody is home, while it is also a good idea to close the curtains.
Don't advertise your whereabouts on social media
In this day and age of 'checking in' on Facebook and keeping people up to date with your every move, social media can be a dangerous place over the festive period.
Indeed, if you promote the fact that no one is in the house it could lead to burglars checking out the property.
Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a large problem as it allows burglars to take a look at what you have stowed away in the home.
Basic security requirements
There are, of course, some safety procedures you must go through at any time of year and not just over Christmas, so don't forget the basics:
- Don't thread wires to Christmas lights through open windows
- Don't leave window keys in their locks
- Whatever you do, don't leave 'Back in five mins' notes for service people or family members at the door
- Spare keys should never be left outside or in a garage or shed
- If possible, leave a car on your drive at all times to make it look as if someone is home