There is never a good time to suffer a loss or a burglary but Christmas time can leave you a little bit more exposed than other times of the year as the criminal fraternity seek opportunities and, perhaps, we ourselves get carried away with too much festive spirit. Here are a few things you should remember which will help minimise the risk:
Always ensure you turn off the Christmas tree lights and extinguish candles when away from the property. Ensure smoke detectors are tested regularly and batteries are changed when required, so that you are alerted of anything untoward as quickly as possible. Smoke sensors can be very simply integrated into your intruder alarm, creating an even greater audible warning, and if monitored, will alert you of a fire when away from the property.
With estimates that Brits spend over £20 billion on Christmas, it is no wonder burglaries are often on the rise at this time. Be sensible with where your Christmas tree, and the gifts surrounding it, are positioned. This will prevent the opportunist thief from getting that chance to scope out what you have been buying. When your online food order arrives, be alert to any passers-by who may want to take advantage of the front door being open. Christmas is a hectic time and despite the added distractions, always make sure you set your intruder alarm. It is no surprise that one of the most common times for a burglary to occur is between 2.30pm and 4.30pm, as burglars are aware that popping out to pick the children up from school, often doesn’t warrant the hassle of setting the alarm. When programmed correctly, intruder alarms are set within a few seconds so always try and take the time to do so.
Simulate occupancy with simple lighting controllers that will bring on certain lights at varying times; from the outside, it will still look like you are on the inside. Make sure gates are closed, locks are secured and the intruder alarm is set. If away from the property for elongated periods of time, think about when the alarm was last serviced and ensure your bellbox on the front of the property is well maintained. The bellbox is your primary deterrent and you want it to convey the right message that you have addressed the security of your home seriously.
Ensure you keep your heating on low and don’t switch the heating off completely, as this will help to prevent water pipes from bursting. Flood sensors can also be added cost-effectively on to your alarm system, alerting you of water detection, as well as intrusion, when away from the property. This means you can minimise the damage caused to your home in the event of a water leak.
Finally, as exciting as the trip may be, try and prevent your children from plastering the getaway all over social media. Those that have an interest in whether your house is occupied can very easily obtain information through the photos on Instagram and the status updates on Facebook.