How to keep your home safe and secure this Christmas

You would think that burglars might take a break at Christmas but, in fact, they are much more likely to spoil our fun. Crime statistics show that burglaries are at their highest in December and January, presumably 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 in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures.

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

*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.

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*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.

Keep your home safe this festive seasonKeep your home safe this festive season
Keep your home safe this festive season

*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. This is where timer plugs are very useful. You pop them into a socket, set the time you want them to come on and go off each day then plug your lamps into them.

*A Christmas time tip is make sure you use outdoor electrical sockets rather than running cables through partially open windows or doors as this could be an open invitation to thieves to break in and help themselves.

*Hide presents from view. They look great under your Christmas tree but this can also invite unwanted attention. So make sure you don’t put too much on display for prying eyes.

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Be extra vigilant on Christmas Eve when presents are often put out for children to find and stockings are filled. No-one wants a Grinch style scenario so double check the doors and windows are locked, close the curtains and leave a lamp on.

*Be very aware of what you share online. 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 and Twitter.

*Use window locks and make sure you have strong deadlocks on doors as these are deterrents. If you have sash windows, invest in sash locks. Do not leave any keys in locks.

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*It costs but think about investing in more sophisticated home security. CCTV systems have never been easier or more discreet to install, with many allowing you to login via your smartphone from wherever you are in the world so you can see who is at the door/in the garden and inside your property.

However, make sure you buy well as the quality of CCTV images varies from good to very poor. There are plenty of companies specialising in this, including members of the respected Master Locksmith Association. It has been proven that homes with security systems are 300 per cent less likely to be burgled.

*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 for £15.99. 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.

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The kit also has an ultraviolet pen for marking items and an ultraviolet light to view your pen markings, along with key fobs to link your keys to your Immobilise account.

*Don’t forget the garage and outbuildings. You can buy inexpensive, battery operated shed alarms that should send a thief running. Motion sensitive lighting can also be helpful as no burglar wants to be in the spotlight.

*Secure bikes by locking them to an immovable object inside a shed or garage and register them with and use Bike Register’s etching kit and stamp on your bike, which act as a deterrent.

*Keep ladders and tools stored away. Do not leave them outside where they could be used to break into your home .

Check your home insurance to ensure you haven’t let it lapse.

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