Christmas is a time when many of us are spending time away from home visiting family or travelling abroad. It is also a time when the house is full of valuable items such as gifts, food and wine. Because of this, Christmas traditionally sees a sharp increase in domestic burglary, with criminals targeting houses when they are at their most vulnerable.
To avoid being a victim of festive theft, take a look at these tips for protecting your home this Christmas.
While out shopping:
- Try to avoid doing most of your shopping in one trip as you may struggle to carry all your bags therefore you will be distracted, making it easier for a thief to steal from you.
- Keep your handbag closed and hold all bags securely to make it more difficult for the pickpockets. Keep mobile phones out of sight. Try not to keep too much cash and keep your cheque book and credit card separate.
- Try not to go back to your car in the middle of the shopping trip to put gifts in the boot, thieves may be watching car parks for this opportunity.
- Always ensure that Christmas shopping/gifts is placed in the boot of the car and out of sight. Check that all windows and doors are shut and locked.
- During the month of December we have many Christmas celebrations and social events to attend: remember pubs, restaurants and other venues are often crowded.
- Don’t leave bags over the back of your chair where its easy for thieves to run off with them. Keep your bag zip closed and your wallet and mobile safely inside.
- If you will not be driving to the place make prior arrangements as to how you will get home. Make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you will be back.
- Avoid any potential distraction on the street and don’t get too drunk as you could become an easy target.
- Try to avoid putting Christmas gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve!
- If you go out in the evening make sure that some lights are left on to make it look like someone is home. However, do not leave your Christmas tree lights on when you are out of the house, as these are a frequently the cause of domestic fires
- If you are going away for Christmas put an automatic timer on lights and ask a trusted friend to watch the house for you. Don’t forget to cancel newspaper .
- After Christmas, when taking your rubbish out, make sure that the boxes of your Christmas gifts are not easily visible… burglars will be on the look out to see who received top of the range equipment, worth breaking-in for.