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The countdown to Christmas is officially underway. With the hustle and bustle of attending parties, visiting relatives and cramming in some last minute Christmas shopping, it can be hard to keep track of what day it is. However, all this chaos also means that our homes are left vacant and vulnerable, and as it’s present buying season, often filled with goodies.

That’s why it’s not surprising that we’re not the only ones making the most of the festivities, with research showing that burglaries increase by 20% over the Christmas holiday period*.

With this in mind, the security experts Yale have put together their own handy hints to make sure you’ve got Christmas all wrapped up.

  1. Keep presents hidden until the big day

Once wrapped, it is tempting to leave gifts out in plain sight under the tree. However, this makes it much easier for window-shopping thieves to spot any presents you may have. Keep these hidden out of sight until the big day.

Similarly, you don’t want people knowing what valuables you have after you’ve opened them. Don’t leave packaging outside by your bins, instead take this straight to the tip and don’t share images of your gifts on social media, creating a ready-made catalogue of presents for thrifty thieves.

  1. Consider storing valuables in a home safe

Jewellery, small electronics, and cash are all popular items for picking as they are small and easy to sell on. Consider storing these in a home safe that is securely bolted to the floor or wall for added peace of mind.

  1. See who’s being naughty or nice with a home IP Camera

A small IP camera can be placed freestanding anywhere in your home, letting you see inside your property at the touch of a button. These can be used as a standalone device or connected as part of a wider smart home security system.

And it’s not just thieves these are useful for tracking! You can also monitor your property to see if your kids are home safely or if your pets still chewing the furniture.

  1. Set your alarm before leaving

A surprising 34% of homeowners admit that while they have a home alarm fitted, they rarely remember to set it!** While visually having an alarm acts as a good deterrent, they are no use if they are not activated in the event of a break-in. Make setting your alarm part of your routine before you leave home.

Invest in a newer, smart alarm device that can send real-time notifications, updates and images direct to your smartphone or tablet to give you added peace of mind that your property is protected.

  1. And remember; lock all doors when leaving your property

Perhaps the most obvious piece of advice, but also the most neglected, always remember to lock your doors and windows when leaving your property.

Where security is concerned, ensure external timber doors are secured with a mortice lock and/or nightlatch that meet British Standard BS3621. Or if you have a PVCu or composite door, consider upgrading the cylinder to a British Standard TS007 Kitemarked model.

 Still not quite sure where to start when assessing your own home security? Santa Paws’ is here to help:

 

The Property Ombudsman Trading Standards