How to keep your home safe from burglars at Christmas

December 6, 2021
Home improvements
How To

  • Don’t make it easy. Ensure that all windows and doors are locked before leaving home or going to bed, avoid leaving keys in locks or near doors (a burglar could reach them through the letterbox) and don’t display dates that you will be away on a prominent calendar. Try to remove large objects from your garden, as these can provide hiding places for burglars.
  • Pretend you’re at home. Put lights or radios on timers, or leave the ironing board out with a pile of clothes on, which will make it look like you’ve just popped out.
  • Ask the neighbours for help. A vacant drive or bins not being put out can highlight the fact that you are away. A covering of fallen leaves or snow can also be a giveaway. Consider asking your neighbours to clear your drive or park on it, and to put out your bin.
  • Manage your mail. Piles of letters can highlight the fact that you are away from home, so consider using the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service to hold your mail for 10 days. Alternatively, ask a friend to clear your mail periodically but make sure that they store it out of sight.
  • Be careful with social media. Posting photos of your holiday online can be tempting, but it could potentially capture the attention of criminals, who will almost certainly be able to work out where you live.
  • Hide presents. Don’t leave newly purchased gifts in full view in your car. Posting photos of presents online or leaving packaging next to bins can alert people to the presence of high-value items in your home.
  • Get insurance. Make sure that you comply with the terms of your policy (e.g., the requirement to turn on your alarm when you leave your property), photograph your possessions and keep hold of the receipts of new purchases so that you can prove ownership. Remember that some places you use to store gifts (e.g., your garage) may not be covered by your policy, while you may need to increase your level of cover to reflect the value of new presents. Many policies require you to take reasonable care to secure your home and possessions, and many insurers will look at your social media feeds for evidence that you have failed to do so.