Did you know that a third of all break-ins happen between November and February? The risk to your home intensifies further in December, when 420 break-ins occur every hour, as the Mirror reveals.
However, the good news is that, even if you are set for a Christmas getaway, the following security measures should leave your home much safer than the average property in winter.
Make your home look as though it remains occupied
You can do this by setting timers, so that select lights will switch on or off at specific times. Another idea recommended by House Beautiful is to use dusk-till-dawn lights outside; after all, a budding burglar might assume that you must still be in the home if those lights are switched on.
Does your home have a working intruder alarm?
Only a quarter of homes are fitted with such an alarm, but even just the visible presence of one could effectively deter a burglar. Nonetheless, check that the alarm works and, especially if it was originally fitted a long time ago, you have reset its alarm codes.
Don’t leave valuables clear to see from outside
Were you to neglect to adhere to this rule, you would be basically advertising those possessions to potential thieves. Fortunately, you can avert this possibility by having a safe installed, giving you space in which to keep those valuables locked away and out of sight.
Be similarly diligent in hiding the Christmas presents
Again, you are practically inviting burglars if you leave those presents where unscrupulous people can easily see them, so try to shift those gifts to somewhere else in the run-up to Christmas Day.
Be careful what you post on social media
Wherever you plan to go for Christmas and when, resist publicising these details on your social media accounts ahead of time – especially if your privacy settings on those sites are rather lax.
This advice particularly applies to the use of sites like Twitter and Instagram, which are very public by nature. However, if your Facebook profile isn’t limited just to trusted friends and family, you might inadvertently reveal to a burglar exactly when you will be leaving your house unoccupied.
Check that the windows and doors are secure
More than 70% of burglaries are committed by the thief entering a door. You shouldn’t rule out a window being used as a point of entry, either, which is why you ought to scrutinise your existing doors and windows for signs of weaknesses in security.
You might even benefit from having those doors and windows replaced. Doors and windows comprising strong uPVC can be fitted by roofing contractors in Yorkshire and further afield.
How many of your keys have been cut?
If you frankly don’t know, have all of your home’s locks changed. This step can be as simple as changing the barrels of those locks – but, if you would prefer to see doors and windows fully replaced, a local company might be able to effectively replace them for your benefit.