There are many reasons why it's wise to give your home security a little extra thought at Christmas time.
Whether your Christmas tradition involves spending more time at home with your family, or is your chance to make a much-needed winter getaway, taking some simple extra measures can help ensure Santa is the only surprising visitor to your home.
Here are our top 12 tips to keep in mind
1. Keep gifts out of view - Whether wrapped or unwrapped, don't keep any gifts in places where they can be easily seen e.g. through the lounge window under the tree. Keeping them out of sight removes the temptation for a potential criminal to try their luck.
2. Make your home look occupied - Even if you are only popping out for a couple of minutes, take steps such as leaving a light or radio on to create the illusion there's someone home.
3. Lock all your windows and doors - This goes without saying, however also avoid leaving windows or doors ajar to run cables for any festive lights.
4. Unattended parcels - Shopping online this year? Make sure someone is there to receive deliveries and don't give permission for them to be left on the door step.
5. Dispose of all wrappers and boxes - Leaving empty boxes and wrapping outside your home will show a burglar all the lovely gifts you have received this Christmas. Package them down as small as you can and put them in black bags to disguise what they are.
6. Don't keep receipts with presents - If a thief was able to break in, this would enable them to return what you've bought in exchange for cash. After Christmas, shred any unwanted receipts and don't put them in the normal rubbish.
7. Make friends with your neighbours - If you are going to be away for longer than a day, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home. Just by taking in the post and opening and shutting curtains for you, it can help to prevent unwanted attention from prying eyes.
8. Cancel regular deliveries - Avoid making it obvious you're away by cancelling milk and paper deliveries. These can stack up outside the front door, highlighting the fact no-one is around.
9. Switch off Christmas lights and electrical items - Make sure they turned are off when you are out of the room or house to eliminate possibility of fires caused by electrical items.
10. Naked flames - To lower the risk of an accidental fire, avoid leaving candles unguarded and make sure they are not positioned on wooden or flammable surfaces.
11. Social media - Avoid sharing too much information about where you are, when you're going, or what you've got. Don't 'check-in' and be careful when posting pictures. Burglars are increasingly using sites such as Facebook and Twitter to identify potential targets.
12. Consider a burglar alarm - If you don't already have one, consider having an intruder alarm fitted and maintained. Burglars will typically go for the easy option, so an unprotected home will stand out amongst those that are clearly alarmed. If you do have one fitted, please make sure you use it every day.
If you would like to discuss your home security with Allcooper, please call us on 01452 372626 or click here to enquire online.