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How to protect your home from burglars over Christmas

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Full of festive cheer and goodwill, Christmas is undoubtedly one of the happiest and most special times of the year. Did you know however that December is the month you’re most likely to fall victim to burglaries?

Sadly, the increased amount of expensive items in our homes and the longer hours they’re left empty as we’re out celebrating or visiting family, means that burglars are taking advantage of these opportunities.

The good news is that there are a number of ways you can protect your home from burglars this festive season.

Know when you’re most vulnerable

 Research carried out by Direct Line has found that there are certain dates we’re more likely to get burgled. In 2014, the highest number of claims were made on the 5th of December – the number of burglary reports were up by a whopping 41% on this date.

There was an increase of 28% on the 11th and 18th of December, a 19% increase on the 17th and a 14% increase on the 6th. Interestingly, after the 23rd, the number of people claiming for burglaries dropped dramatically, although this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remain vigilant however.

Don’t leave presents on show

 It may look nice to see presents under the tree but doing this could prove costly. If your tree is near a window, the temptation may prove too much for burglars. Even if your wrapped presents aren’t in plain sight however, if you do get broken into, this is probably the first place intruders will look so you’re giving them easy access to what they’re looking for.

 Increase privacy

It’s a beautiful sight to walk down a street and see everyone’s Christmas trees light up their homes but December is a month to think about increasing your privacy. If people can see into your home, it’s not hard for them to determine whether or not someone is there.

As soon as it starts getting dark, try to remember to close your curtains. If anyone is watching your house they will know you do this every night so it won’t be obvious if you only do it when you go out.

Window shutters are a great way to increase your privacy as well as your security. The slats can be adjusted to let in light during the day yet still prevent prying eyes from looking in. What’s more, shutters act as an additional barrier to your home and when burglars are looking for quick and easy entry, it’s unlikely that they’re going to hang around trying to break down solid wood shutters.

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Increase security

 If you have a burglar alarm but never use it, now is the time to get into the habit of setting it whenever you go out. Try to remember to leave a light on so it’s hard for people to know whether you’re home or not, motion sensor lights can be a fantastic deterant and double check that all your windows and doors are locked.

If you are going away over Christmas, ask a neighbour to pop in frequently to check on the house. Also encourage them to do so at different times of the day because if anyone is watching your property, they may notice a pattern developing and strike when they know nobody will be there.

Also try to avoid posting on social media sites when you’re going to be away because this gives hundreds of people access to the knowledge that your house is going to be empty.

 

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30 November 2017

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