How to burglar proof your house for Christmas and beyond

Crime statistics show that burglaries are at their highest in December and January, not least because the dark nights provide thieves with good cover.Many of the thefts committed over the festive period are opportunistic, rather than planned and Police.UK say homes with no security measures are five times more likely to be burgled than those without.

Here are some tips on how to keep your home safe and secure this Christmas and all year round.

*Al Lijee, a home security expert at Rated Locksmiths says that doors and windows are common entry points for burglars. He recommends strengthening these vulnerable areas by installing deadbolt locks on exterior doors or consider upgrading to smart locks that provide additional layers of security for your house.

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The deadbolt lock has a bolt that must be activated by a key or thumb turn. It offers good security because it is not spring activated and cannot be. “jimmied” opened with a knife blade or credit card.

A tree with presents. Picture: WayfairA tree with presents. Picture: Wayfair
A tree with presents. Picture: Wayfair

For your windows, apply a security film to make them more resistant to shattering and apply window locks. If you have sash windows, invest in sash locks. Do not leave any keys in locks.

Sliding doors can be further fortified by placing a sturdy rod in the track, preventing forced entry from would-be burglars,

*Al adds that, if your budget can run to it, investing in a smart home security system can help protect your property and your belongings. These systems typically include surveillance cameras, motion sensors and can also include door and window alarms.

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He suggests opting for a system that offers real-time alerts, enabling you to respond promptly to any suspicious activity via your smartphone. Many modern systems also allow for direct communication with emergency monitoring teams who can call the police, if need be.

It has been proven that homes with security systems are 300 per cent less likely to be burgled but make sure you buy well as the quality of CCTV images varies from good to very poor.

*If you have trusted neighbours who will keep an eye on the house and open and close your curtains while you are away then that is ideal and you can return the favour when they are away. If they or their visitors want to park a car on your drive, even better as it will look like there is someone at home.

*You can also make it look like there is someone at home. Burglars may notice if your house is the only one on the street with no lights on and this is where timer plugs are useful.

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You can set the time you want them to come on and go off each day then plug your lamps into them. Do make sure that the electrics in your home are safe. An EICR check is recommended every 10 years and will test your home’s wiring and electrics to ensure safety.

*Don’t run cables through partially opened windows as this is an invitation to thieves. Instead make sure you use outdoor electrical sockets and while piles of parcels under the Christmas tree look lovely, they can also invite unwanted attention.

*Be very aware of what you share online if you are away. Many people visit family and friends or spend Christmas abroad and are tempted to share their happy time by telling the world via social media, exactly where they are and what they are doing.

This also reveals that your property and its contents are home alone. Increasingly, thieves are using social media to identify targets so take care what you post on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

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*If you are going away for a holiday or to a second home over the festive period, think about using the Royal Mail’s keepsafe service which will keep your letters and parcels for up to two months. Mail piling up behind the door is a green light for thieves.

*Mark your valuables with your postcode and house number. Register your postcode marked valuables for free at, which will increase your chances of getting them back if they are recovered by the police.

You can buy a home security marking kit via the website. It has window labels warning that the home and vehicle contents are marked and traceable. Police.UK say these are effective and are proven to be a deterrent against burglary. The kit also has an ultraviolet pen for marking items.

*Don’t forget the garage and outbuildings. You can buy inexpensive, battery operated shed alarms and secure bikes by locking them to an immovable object inside a shed or garage.

*Keep ladders and tools stored away. Do not leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home and finally, check your home insurance to ensure you haven’t let it lapse.

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