Santa isn’t the only person looking to visit homes in the wee hours of the night – the holiday season is also prime time for intruders.
The time between mid-December through to early January is when most people leave their homes unattended for longer periods of time. Everyone’s out shopping, visiting family and friends, attending Christmas Carols and other events, and going on holiday.
Intruders know this is the perfect opportunity to find valuable items.
You don’t want to advertise your valuables. If possible, make sure presents are out of sight of windows, or wait until the last moment to put them under the tree. And after presents have been unwrapped, don’t display the empty boxes out near bins, showing what new items you have inside – break the boxes down and put them inside your recycling bin.
And remember the basics at all times – doors and windows locked when you are out or asleep.
Christmas also means fairy lights and lots of them! Try not to overload power points with too many lights or other electricals, as this can be a fire risk. And make sure when you go to bed these are turned-off.
Nothing is completely secure, however when you go away on holiday, you can greatly reduce the risk of your house being broken into by taking a few measures. Appearance plays an important part in deterring thieves.
Here are some ideas to make it appear that your home is occupied, leaving no clue to potential thieves that you’re away. Before you go away you should:-
- Cancel any newspaper deliveries.
- Ask the post office to hold your mail, or get a neighbour to collect and hold it for you.
- Let your neighbours know you’re going away and ask them to keep an eye out for anyone around your home.
- Give a neighbour your car keys and ask them to move your second car out of the garage and leave in the driveway every couple of days. Alternatively you could ask them to park their car in the driveway.
- If you are away for an extended period of time, perhaps organise for a lawn mowing service to do your lawns and tidy the gardens.
- The garbage bin. You could ask your neighbour to roll out and put back your bin. If you don’t want to ask a neighbour to do this, put it away altogether.
- Install some electrical timers inside your home to turn selected lights on and off for a period every night.
- Turn the volume of your phone down and don’t leave a message telling people you’re away.
You may also have some ideas of your own. Remember, the key is to make your home look like it is being occupied at all times.