Christmas is a time when many of us make valuable gift purchases for loved ones (and ourselves). Sadly it's also a time when opportunistic burglaries take place, and our research shows that electronics, cash and jewellery are the most attractive swag for thieves. Here are some steps you can take to help keep your property safe over the festive season.
Ring out the bells
According to our research, three quarters of homes don't have a burglar alarm fitted. Even if you live in a built-up area (semi-detached houses are the most at risk from thieves) it's worth investing in an alarm for your home.
Hide your presents
Keep valuables in a safe place, and out of sight from the windows/doors. Even discarded boxes outside your home can act as an incentive to would-be burglars. Recycle your packaging as soon as possible or breakdown the boxes into small pieces and hide in bin-liners, especially when recycling collections over the festive period can be few and far between.
No room at the inn
Don't invite in unwanted guests by keeping keys in windows and doors. Even hiding a spare key near the front door can be an invitation....professional burglars know where to look.
Shine a light
If you're planning on being out for a few hours or overnight, leaving a small lamp on so it looks like someone's home can act as a deterrent for would-be thieves. Timer switches are a great way to ensure the light's only on for the minimum amount of time required.
It's also worth considering an outdoor security light, our research found only a quarter of you have them fitted.
Take photos of valuable items you have so you have a record of them, and security mark them if you can, with your postcode and house number. Security markers
(that show up under UV light) are great for this.
As part of our home upgrade package we offer our Home Insurance
customers an additional £7500 cover for the month of December to give you peace of mind. But don't forget to add any special new valuable items individually (those worth over £1000) to your policy once the festive period's over.
Here's a summary of the key findings from our survey.
(Research conducted by OnePoll who surveyed 3000 British homeowners and 32 police forces in Great Britain.)