If you are planning on going away for Christmas, it is important that you make sure your home is safe. Dark evenings, absent owners and the temptation of potentially high value gifts are an enticing mix for would-be criminals.
OK, so we all know that the best way to make your house look occupied is by leaving the lights on. However, people don’t think about their additional outside Christmas lights. If you light up your exterior for Christmas by threading cables into your garage or through the window, you are leaving an entry point for potential burglars. If you are going out (even for the night) make sure that your windows and doors are fully secured. If you love a bit of outdoor lighting, invest in an external power point so that you don’t have to leave a window open.
Security lights can help, too; the action of them coming on suddenly can alert neighbours to the presence of someone outside your house, particularly if you let them know that you are away.
CCTV, alarms and even Neighbourhood Watch stickers can act as effective deterrents. What’s more, if you do have CCTV, you are more likely to get justice if you are broken into.
Anything that makes your house seem occupied will help to deter criminals. We’re not talking Home Alone-style life-size cut outs rolling past the window every few minutes, but there are some things that you can do. Some home technology systems have a “burglar app” which makes standard household noises (toilet flushing, cooking, whistling, dogs barking) to make it sound as though there are people at home. You can also try setting your TV to come on at certain times.
Tell The Neighbours
Over the Christmas period, routine tends to go out of the window. People come and go: parties, parcels, visitors – it can be hard to know who to expect, and when. So, if you are going away, make sure that you tell your immediate neighbours. Maybe you could ask one of them to come over in the evenings to close the curtains and switch on a couple of lights. If they notice anything unusual – the security light being set off, lights that are usually on going off, or any unusual sounds, ask them to call you, or call the police.
There’s An App For That
If you are genuinely worried about leaving your property, you can install an app that allows you to see who is at your door and in your home. That way, you can be alerted to unusual activity or just check in now and again to make sure everything is ok. However, don’t get so caught up in watching your home that you forget to enjoy the friends and family that you are away with!