With Christmas approaching it’s easy to take your home security for granted, but it’s important at this time of the year to step back and reassess your security measures. While most of us see the holidays as a time when we go out of the way to be generous, criminals often see this time of year as rife with opportunities to steal. Christmas parties and other celebrations also put us at higher risk, leaving our homes more vulnerable.
Nothing sets you back over the festive season like a home burglary, especially if it could have been prevented. Take a moment to check out our top Christmas home security tips to keep your festivities safe.
Security Tip 1 – Inventories
If your home is filled with new electronic equipment, jewellery, computers, and their high value gifts, take the time to make an inventory. An inventory is an excellent way of quickly identifying missing items, helping to speed up police and insurance enquiries, in the event of theft.
Security Tip 2 – Proper lighting
Turn those light on, inside and out, during the evening hours. If you have floodlights that are activated by motion detectors, make sure the bulbs are working and the detectors are online.
Go ahead and install your Christmas lighting generously but one word of caution: be sure you have checked the lighting and that it is sufficient quality. Poor quality Christmas lights can be a serious fire hazard. If in doubt, get new lighting.
Security Tip 3 – Manage your refuse carefully
Stacks of refuse and gift wrap from your new purchases can make your house a tempting target for thieves, suggesting that high value gifts may be located inside. It can also be dangerous, increasing the risk of fire on your premises. For both these reasons, take your wrappings to a recycling point regularly during the holiday season to avoid a build-up.
Security Tip 4 – Be careful with what gets posted on social media
Make this a family concern. A savvy opportunist will know to check around social media entries and use them to select a target. Social media postings can attract burglaries from the moment a post goes live. Keep those pricey new gifts off Facebook and other social media pages. If you must share your newest purchases, make sure your privacy settings are tight, so you know exactly who can is reading your posts.
Security Tip 5 – Security check
Before the holiday is upon you, run a check of your doors and windows. Make sure all the latches and deadbolts are securely set and functional. Don’t forget the garage. If anything needs repair, do not put it off. Replacement parts are always available from reputable suppliers to help reinforce your door security. Spend a little now for peace of mind.
Security Tip 6 – Close the drapes and blinds every night
We are tempted by things that we see, and criminals are no different. Keep those prying eyes away from your windows and doors. By keeping your gifts out of sight, you are reducing the risk of a break-in.
Security Tip 7 – Secure any outside sheds or outbuildings
Garages and sheds are often targets of home burglaries, even during winter months. Garden items, machinery and other equipment can run to quite high values. You won’t miss these items until they’re gone, especially over the winter months, making effective police enquiries much more difficult. Where appropriate, replace locks with new, high quality Hooply Locks for longer lasting, more robust security.
Security Tip 8 – Community support
Many UK residents travel for the holiday or at least for portions of the holiday season. Be sure you have a good security plan for your residence:
- Ask a neighbour to check daily. Install lights on timer switches.
- Keep walkways and driveways maintained and place any cars not in use in the garage.
- Arrange for your mail to be held until you return and cease delivery of newspapers to the home. In other words, don’t advertise that you are away from home.
Security Tip 9 – Don’t hide keys!
If you are accustomed to hiding spare keys on the property, this is a good time to end that practice. You can leave a spare key with a trusted neighbour but it is amazing how burglars find and use those spare keys under flower pots or mats. Don’t give burglars access to your home.
Security Tip 10 – Test your alarms
This is the ideal time to check that you security system and alarms are all operating correctly. A damaged or broken alarm leaves your home vulnerable to break-ins. A simple test, once a week, is enough to make sure your alarm is fully operational.
Check your fire alarm also. 63% of all fire fatalities were in accidental dwelling fires – 163 in 2014-15. Don’t make the season one to remember for the wrong reasons.
These tips may seem out of spirit but there are few things more devastating that a holiday season break-in or house fire. Take the time to ensure your safety of your home and your loved ones before enjoying well-earned celebrations. Latham’s Steel Security Doorsets supply and manufacture a wide range of stock steel security doors for domestic use.
To find out how we can improve the security of your home, call us on +44 (0) 1384 220 050 or contact us here.