The festive season is just around the corner, and our homes might be stocked with a few more brand new and expensive luxury items than usual. This can be a joyous time, but unfortunately it also attracts opportunist thieves and organised criminal gangs.
These nefarious operators can take advantage of dark nights that allow them to carry out their activities unobserved, and the fact that people tend to be away from home frequently with holidays or social events at this time of the year. Fortunately, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to keep your home safe and secure at this time.
- Keep presents hidden out of sight
While it may be exciting to leave wrapped presents underneath the tree, this is an obvious temptation for burglars who can view them through the window. Therefore choose a good hiding place to keep them until the big day, such as a loft or other place that would be difficult to access.
Remember to also dispose of wrapping and boxes effectively, especially for large expensive items. Ideally, cut it up until the labels are difficult to identify, and wait until the next collection day before putting it in your recycling bin.
- Review your perimeter security
Make sure that all fences, gates, and hedges that surround your property are kept in good condition with no gaps or weak points. Keep gates locked, and do not leave items in your yard or garden that could easily enable intruders to climb over, such as wheelie bins or garden furniture.
- Install security lights
Motion sensor outside security lights can be a very strong deterrent to intruders who will not want to attempt a break in without the cover of darkness, and will also alert you to any untoward activity.
- Make use of lights inside your home
Opportunistic burglars will often look for a home that appears to be unoccupied. Therefore if you are going to be away from home at this time of year, consider leaving on some interior lights as a deterrent. You can use timed switches, or even control them through a smartphone app, which is useful if your schedule is unpredictable.
- Schedule deliveries carefully
When at all possible, try to be at home when your deliveries arrive to prevent opportunistic thieves from taking items from your porch, doorstep, or shed. If you are not at home, try to have packages diverted to a trusted neighbour, or consider installing a CCTV security camera.
- Keep windows and doors secure
It may seem like a very basic point, but the majority of domestic burglars gain access through unsecured doors or windows. Make an assessment of all your door and window locks to check that they are all functioning as they should and have no faults or signs of wear and tear.
Never leave spare keys hidden in your garden, and do not leave keys in locks or in a place where they could easily be accessed through a letterbox or a catflap.
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