It is a sad fact but burglaries are said to increase by up to 20 per cent around the Christmas holidays. That doesn't mean there is nothing you can do to help make sure this percentage doesn't affect your home though.
There are a number of easy and sensible tips you can follow to help deter burglars and keep your home safe this Christmas. Whether you are home or away this Christmas, here are 7 tips to try and keep your home safe.
Ensure all your windows are secure or add sensors
It goes without saying, but if you leave your windows wide open then it will be easy for a burglar to climb in. Make sure your windows are shut and if possible, locked, if you are heading out to a friend's house, going for a Boxing Day stroll or taking a couple of days away at the in-laws. For those that are especially concerned, you could fit an open/closed sensor so you'll know if anything goes down at home when you aren't there.
Leave lights on or get one you can control over the internet via your phone
Shops on the high street always leave their lights on even at night when they are closed and there's a reason for that - it is easier to see someone lurking around inside. If you are out, leave a light on, get a basic timer, or better still, invest in a Wi-Fi enabled club. The latter can be turned on or set to react to certain things like the weather, even when you aren't there so they should help deter any unwanted visitors.
Remember to lock the front door, even if you are inside
Locking the front door is obvious, but it is also something you should do even when you are home to stop people sneaking in. If you do open the door to a caller, such as a late night delivery from an online retailer, check who they are first before opening the door fully.
As an extra measure, get a home monitoring system, like Canary, so you can video intruders as they come in and record exactly what time things happen. We've found it also works well for catching out the "I was home by 1am" lies after the Christmas party too.
Don't advertise your presents
If your Christmas tree is in a window, don't put any presents around it before Christmas morning. If you've put all your lovely presents on display, it makes it even easier for any would-be criminal to scoop everything up in a sack and take the lot: just like the Grinch. Hide presents until the last minute, and if you've got things like bikes to gift, don't just store them in the unlocked shed in the garden.
Likewise, a big shiny packaging box dumped next to your bin the day after is like a red rag to a bull. Don't do it. Either keep the box in the loft for when you sell it on eBay in a couple of years' time, or flat pack it and take it to the recycle tip when you ditch the tree. By doing that you aren't telling anyone that walks past that you've got a brand new Xbox One, a 4K TV, and a stack of iPads fresh in the house.
If you've bought any electronics take down any serial numbers
If you are worried about big expensive ticket items like a new phone, laptop, or tablet, jot down the serial number or IMEI number in case something happens. Alternatively use a Security Marker Pen. They cost under a £1, but it means if the police do recover your things they can hopefully get them back to you.
Hide the receipts
We all keep receipts for that "I've already got it" or "I don't like it moment", but make sure you hide the receipts somewhere safe in your house. That way, if someone does break in and steal the presents, they aren't able to return them too, especially if you've gone to the trouble of getting a gift receipt.
Stay off public social media
"We just heading off for a couple of days #emptyhouse #pleaserobme". Yes, if you can, don't tell the internet that you aren't going to be at your home this Christmas and that it's free to be raided when it suits them.
Canary is the all-in-one home security system that you control from your phone. It has HD video and audio, a built-in siren, and sensors for temperature, humidity and air quality. Canary lets you see what's happening at home and take action.
A new approach to security, Canary combines innovative hardware, elegant software and meaningful services to meet modern-day home security needs. Canary launched in the UK in September, following a hugely successful Indiegogo campaign in the United States, and is available on Amazon.co.uk, Apple stores, Curry's PC World, John Lewis, and Maplin. For more information, please visit canary.is.