WITH the nights getting longer and days darker, an expert has warned Christmas can be a popular time for burglars to strike. Following some simple tips could help improve the security of a property.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, director at Keys 4 U Izzy Schulman explained homeowners could be more at risk of break-ins during the winter months.
While Christmas parties may be swapped for nights in due to coronavirus restrictions, the risk of being targeted is still high.
Izzy stated: “Christmas is always a popular period for home break-ins, with claims against home insurance policies soaring in the ‘darker months’ of the year. And while the coronavirus pandemic means more of us will be spending Christmas in our own homes this year, the frightening reality is most burglaries take place while the homeowner is inside.”
Despite the risks, there are some ways to improve home security this year.
The expert explained keeping a property well lit inside and out can deter potential burglars.
He said: “The festive period lends itself to home break-ins – it’s the darkest time of the year and provides the perfect cover for burglars. Unfortunately, our decorative Christmas lights alone are not enough to fully illuminate dark areas around the home.
“Fitting motion sensor lights around the outside of your property alerts you if someone is moving around your home and act as a deterrent for burglars, who aim to get in and out quickly, unseen.”
Keep valuables out of sight
Keeping expensive items away from windows could reduce the risk of a potential break-in, the expert suggested.
Izzy continued: “While we tend to imagine that burglars spend weeks scouting properties before making their move, in reality, 47 percent of burglaries are unplanned. Criminals spot valuable items and act in the spur of the moment.
“This is why it’s important to keep valuable items out of sight of windows and letterboxes. A potential intruder who spots car keys through a window could break in and be gone in seconds before you even realise what’s happened.
“It can be harder at Christmas, as we like to leave our presents under the tree in the build-up to the big day but it’s important to take extra precautions around the festive period. Making sure to keep curtains closed unless you’re in the room stops potential intruders from eyeing up your goods. Plus, installing a smart doorbell deters burglars from chancing their luck, capturing their efforts on camera.
“After the special day, try not to leave any receipts or designer labels and packaging visible in your recycling area. These tell potential intruders there are expensive items inside – so, separate them into separate recyclable bin bags where possible for added peace of mind.”
Signing up for a good home insurance policy will add extra protection this Christmas.
“Over the Christmas period, it’s possible you’ll be exceeding your home contents insurance cover, with all the family’s gifts in one place,” Izzy explained.
“Some insurance providers automatically increase your cover for a few days around Christmas, however it’s worth checking if this includes your provider. If not, chat with them about temporarily increasing your policy or adding cover for individual items, in case the worst happens.”
Keep lights on
The expert stated: “If you are able to get out to visit loved ones this Christmas, it’s important you don’t leave your home looking vacant. Leaving lights on in the home can stop potential intruders in their tracks.
“Plus, leaving the radio or television on also gives the impression of someone being home. If you have any scheduled deliveries, like milk or paper subscriptions or you’re just expecting a parcel, try to get them rescheduled. If those passing by spot a package hasn’t been picked up for hours or even days, they’ll know no one’s home.”
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