Christmas is a time of peace and joy, but not for everyone. With expensive presents, packages, and treats overflowing in our homes, it can be rich pickings for thieves and burglars. Nobody wants their Christmas ruined or hard-earned luxuries taken.
Security is our business, so here are our twelve top tips for keeping Christmas safe and secure.
Keep things hidden.
Despite what Instagram tells you, think twice about putting your tree in front of the window for all to see. Whilst it may look beautiful, you don’t need to advertise your presents to the world. Obviously, Santa’s presents won’t be delivered until the big day, but keep everything else safely out of sight until the very last minute.
Make sure your Christmas presents are insured.
Most people have a set limit on personal items in their contents insurance. However, with a house full of Christmas gifts, you may easily be over your cover limit. Some insurance companies automatically increase your cover in December but check your policy.
Keep the receipts.
It may sound obvious, but if you do have a claim, you’ll need prove what you’ve purchased. Many companies now give email or online receipts to make things easier. Either way, take photographs of the items themselves, and the receipts
Don’t be too social.
Be careful what you post online. With posts being liked and shared with abandon, it’s easy to lose track of who can see what. Advertising the expensive gifts in the house, or that you are away for the Christmas period, could be inviting unwanted attention. You may also find that your insurance company won’t pay out if you’ve been free and easy with the details.
Don’t just hide your presents from your kids. Even if the children are passed the hide and seek phase, store your presents out of sight and make sure they are hard to find. The attic, locked cupboards or eaves are a safer bet than the top of the wardrobe.
Consider self storage.
If you are buying large items, or very expensive ones, consider hiring a self-storage unit for the month. Many places offer small lockers or units at reasonable prices with no long term contracts. They are also fully insured, secure and some will even accept your deliveries for you too.
Get your parcels delivered to safe store area.
Speaking of which, online shopping can be a big convenience at this time of year but ‘click and collect’ or safe store can be a more secure option. Parcels left on the step, or left behind gates and sheds, are asking for trouble. Many companies hire extra delivery staff at this time of year, making strangers on your property a regular occurrence. This can also make it more difficult for neighbours to spot unusual activity.
Is there anybody there?
If you’re going away, make sure your property is secure. You don’t need to give it the full Home Alone treatment, but some lights on timers, or leaving a radio on can give the impression that someone is home. Even if you are away for the whole festive period, put a few visible decorations up before you go. Ask someone to check on the house and, if it’s a friend or relative, make sure neighbours know that they are expected.
Streets look like Blackpool illuminations at this time of year, and the trend is increasing. Watch where you plug them in. Do not pass the lights through a downstairs window, if that means the window no longer shuts. Do not leave the garage unlocked so you can keep turning them on and off. Weatherproof outdoor electricity points are a good idea (although you probably should have thought of this in September)
Watch what you throw away
We all like to recycle these days but be careful what you throw away in your household bins. A bin overflowing on recycling day with electronics boxes and expensive packaging can make your house an ideal target. Instead, take them to the tip yourself and get them out of the way.
Get a monitored alarm installed
Sometimes a deterrent is all you need.
However, if it does go off, someone will be notified and someone will respond, rather than just annoying the neighbours.
Get a dog
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas, but they can also keep the burglars at bay. Maybe something to think about for next year.
May we wish you a safe and a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.