“This is my house, I have to defend it.”
Christmas isn’t complete without watching Home Alone. We see this classic every year but do we ever really think about leaving our ‘home alone’ during the festive period?
Homes are more frequently left empty in the whirlwind of shopping trips, social events and visits, and with the elongated holiday many of us use the opportunity to take a break, leaving our home all alone.
With presents wrapped and conveniently left in the hallway or under the tree it’s not surprising that burglaries increase by up to 20%* over the winter months. With this in mind, the security experts at Yale have put together their top tips for securing your home this Christmas.
Avoid leaving presents under the tree and try to keep them out of sight until the big day. Home safes are an excellent way to store small high value gifts such as jewellery and electronics. Just make sure you bolt the safe securely to the floor to avoid a burglar leaving with it in tow.
Make sure gift packaging is as unidentifiable as possible when you throw it out. It’s easy to just dump new TV or iPod boxes in or near your outside bin, but it’s a beacon for opportunistic burglars. It’s also a good idea to resist the urge to advertise your new Christmas gifts to everyone on Facebook. You don’t want to create a catalogue for burglars to choose from – especially if you tag yourself at an airport 3 days later!
The perfect ‘security guard’
Try to give the impression that someone is in by leaving lights and the TV or radio on if you’re out and about over Christmas so burglars think you’re home.
For additional protection, alarms act as the perfect ‘security guard’, watching over your property when you’re not there. Statistics show 60%* of burglaries attempted on homes with alarms are unsuccessful. The darker nights provide the perfect cover for opportunist burglars so a working home alarm is invaluable. As well as providing a visual deterrent to potential burglars, alarms are vital for alerting your neighbours in the event of a break-in. Yale’s Wirefree Alarm kits are quick and easy to install, and offer discreet protection for all types of properties, from flats to large family homes.
A safe pair of eyes
It’s a good idea to ask your family or neighbours to keep an eye on your home while you’re away visiting friends and loved ones.
For the ultimate peace of mind CCTV is great way to keep a safe pair of eyes on your home at all times. Burglars tend to be very camera-shy and 90% of burglars avoid homes with CCTV installed in favour of an easier target.
Yale’s new range of Easy Fit CCTV kits allow you to view footage of your home from anywhere in the world using a smartphone, tablet or PC. All you have to do is set up your recorder with an Internet connection so can check in whenever you want.
The door of opportunity
Make sure all doors and windows are fitted with secure locks in line with British standards. External timber doors should be secured using a mortice lock and/or nightlatch that meets British Standard BS3621:2007 and if you have a PVCu or Composite door then it is a good idea to upgrade the euro profile cylinder in your multi-point lock to the British Standard TS007 as well, (look for the Kitemark on lock packs and on the lock itself). Locks are also available for all types of windows, including wooden, aluminium and PVCu, as well as French doors and patio doors.
The weather outside is frightful…
Outdoor thefts are almost 20%* higher compared with five years ago and at this time of year sheds are often used to store Christmas presents such as bicycles and power tools. You can secure your outbuildings with a weather-proof padlock to help deter would-be thieves and protect against unwanted intruders. Heavy-duty padlocks are recommended for shed doors, while anchor locks and cables can be used to secure high value individual items inside an outbuilding.
Follow these simple tips to make sure that your home isn’t ‘alone’ this Christmas!