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Burglary at Christmas

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December is an expensive time of year and around Christmas we all have cupboards, attics and garages full of toys and gadgets waiting to be eagerly received on Christmas morning.  Unfortunately, thieves are well aware of this and burglary levels reach a peak around this time.  So what can you do to prevent burglary at Christmas?

Keep gifts out of sight

Christmas trees surrounded by a huge pile of gifts are a wonderful sight and add to the excitement of the season but if your tree is beside the window then keeping your presents under it is advertising the fact that they’re there for the taking.  Garden sheds are popular targets for thieves, so it is wise to keep any bikes or other large presents in the attic, garage or hidden away in Gran and Grandad’s spare bedroom.

Give the illusion of being at home

Shopping trips, pantomimes, nights out and visits to relatives all mean we are out of the house more than usual over the festive period.  Invest in a timer to switch on lamps as it gets dark and deter potential burglars.  Close your curtains and blinds in the evening so that it’s impossible to see if anyone is home.  If you’re going away for a holiday cancel newspaper deliveries and ask a friend or neighbour to pop in keep an eye on the place, removing mail from letterboxes.

Don’t advertise the fact that you’re away

Work has finished up for two weeks and you’ve booked a holiday or are visiting family for Christmas.  That sounds lovely but be careful whom you tell about your plans.  Posting on social media sites lets burglars know that they’ll have plenty of time to ransack your home before you get back.  The same goes for outgoing answering machine messages; keep it simple and say you’re unable to get to the phone rather than boasting that you’re away getting a tan.

Dispose of packaging carefully

A recycling bin full of laptop, television and toy boxes displays exactly which brand new goodies are sitting inside your house.  The safest way to dispose of packaging is to take it straight to the recycling centre.  If that’s not possible then break up boxes and put your bin out as late as possible before the lorry arrives to empty it.

burglary at Christmas

Outdoor lights

Christmas lights on the outside of your property may look pretty but if you are running a cable from inside then they become an easy way for burglars to gain access to your home.  Instead of feeding lights through a partially opened window use ones that are solar/battery powered or hire an electrician to install an outdoor power socket.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it

Many homes are fitted with alarm systems that aren’t always used.  Ensure yours is activated whenever the house is going to be left empty, even if only for an hour. Equally, there is no point in having a security light outside your property if you don’t switch it on after dark.  Your alarm company may be able to provide you with window stickers pushing the fact that you are on top of home security.  Use everything you have available to you to make your home more secure otherwise you may be left kicking yourself.  It’s worth noting that insurance companies are much more likely to pay out if all steps that could have prevented a burglary were taken.

By taking care and looking at your home from a thief’s point of view you can help avoid falling victim to burglary over the festive period.

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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