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TWELVE CHRISTMAS HOME SECURITY TIPS

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TWELVE CHRISTMAS HOME SECURITY TIPS

1. Double lock external doors – Just one lock on a door isn't enough – it's important to use a dead or double lock on outside doors, burglars can use their foot to check whether there's a dead lock on the door – if the door moves more than two millimetres, they'll know a door isn't double locked. Remember to lock doors and windows every time you leave the house, even when you're just in the garden.

2. Don't leave presents under the tree – Householders do not to leave presents under the tree, particularly if they're visible from windows or doors.

3. Leave the lights on for better home security- When householders go out at night, they should consider leaving the lights on with the curtains drawn, so it looks like someone's at home, be mindful of where the lights are on, as this can make valuable belongings more visible to thieves. That's why it's important curtains or blinds are closed.

4. Recycle packaging of expensive presents – Dispose of present packaging carefully, as empty boxes left outside can advertise that you have new and desirable goods inside your home. It's a good idea to recycle packaging, taking Christmas present boxes – especially for big-ticket items such as phones or games consoles – to your nearest recycling centre.

5. Letterbox fishing- Avoid the risk of burglars stealing valuable items from your home through your letterbox, such as keys lying on the side, by fitting a cage to the inside of your letterbox, suggests Fraser. You should also keep keys out of reach rather than on a sideboard or console table near the door. If you have glass doors, make sure that would-be thieves can't see where you are keeping your keys.

6. Keep cash in the bank – Never keep large amounts of cash at home. It can be tempting to keep cash around, especially if giving cash gifts to relatives and grandchildren, but limit the amount you keep. Consider fitting a safe at home, though ideally write cheques instead of giving cash.

7. Keep calendars out of sight – Appointments and festive holidays listed on calendars will give potential intruders a window of opportunity to break into your home undisturbed, Fraser points out. Ensure information on any calendars cannot be easily viewed through a window. Ideally, use a digital or online calendar, such as one on your phone or computer.

8. Lock outbuildings for better home security – Christmas home security tips apply to external buildings, too. It's important to securely lock any sheds or garages, so thieves can't gain access to ladders and tools which they could use to get into your home. Keep valuables, such as cycles, chained up and consider fitting a shed alarm and external motion-controlled lighting to illuminate your garden if someone enters it.

9. Be careful what you post on social media- A modern consideration for any Christmas home security tip is to be careful what you post on social media. If a burglar has access to your name through old post or personal information, they can easily find your social media accounts too. Sharing holiday countdowns or updates while you're away is an open invitation for burglars to head into your home with the knowledge that they won't be disturbed.

10. Limit access to house keys- Never to leave keys anywhere near the front door, as burglars know where to look. If you really need to leave keys outside, so family and friends have access to your property, buy a key safe or install a keyless lock and share access.

11. Keep your digital alarm keypad clean- If you have a digital alarm system, make sure you keep it clean so it's not obvious which ones are pressed frequently – if burglars know what digits you're using, they can easily work out your password, as people are more likely to start with lower numbers and work their way up the keypad when it comes to numerical patterns. Don't write the number for your alarm system down or keep it near the system.

12. Christmas home security tips apply when you're at home- Don't just assume a burglary will happen while you're out or when householders are either asleep or distracted. With sensible precautions, we hope these Christmas home security tips will help you enjoy a secure and trouble-free festive season.

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