Did you know that one of the most popular times of year for home invasion and burglaries is December?
It’s not surprising really – we all know that our homes spend December slowly filling with gifts, as well as all of those wonderful Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that are still filtering through the postal service. It’s too good an opportunity to pass up for most burglars. Which means that you need to be extra vigilant with your home security at this time of year – especially when you’re indulging in some mulled wine and minced pies! But what does that mean?
Why Burglaries Peak At Christmas
There have been a lot of studies and research into the rates of burglaries across the year, and it comes as no surprise that burglaries rise on average by 20% over the festive period. In fact, according to some research (done by Direct Line), the 5th, 6th, 11th, 17th and 18th of December are favourite dates for opportunistic burglars to play the anti-Santa and steal presents from under the tree. And last year, there were 37,492 home burglaries in December – the highest rate in the UK. The main reason for this is simple – this is when burglars know our homes are full of nice expensive gifts (they’re particularly on the lookout for bikes, games consoles, phones, laptops, tablets and cameras), and that we are less likely to be in our homes as much (even now, with Covid-19 wreaking havoc with our normal celebrations).
But sadly, not everyone is equal when it comes to the possibility of being targeted. Living in England and Wales puts you more at risk – with 1 in every 67 festive burglaries happening in those parts of the country. Living in a poorly maintained area also increases your risk of burglary by 5.4%, and the chances of single parents being targeted are around 6.8%. That’s because this kind of household are statistically less likely to have security measures in place, and so they present easier targets. As we’ve mentioned before, burglars are quite lazy – they would always prefer to go for an easy target that fight against anti-burglar precautions.
Festive Home Security Tips
The simplest way for us to show you how to keep your home safe this month is to give you a list of do’s and don’ts. So, this year, follow these simple rules to protect yourself and you home from burglars:
- Leave presents under the Christmas tree if they can be seen through a window or door. One of the first things a burglar will do is have a look to see if there is anything worth having.
- Hide gifts in obvious places. If your kids could find presents under the bed or in a wardrobe, so could a burglar.
- Post about the expensive gifts you’re buying on social media – you might as well be writing a wish list for them!
- ‘Check in’ on nights out, or when you’re out and about during the holiday season – again, you’re just advertising that your house is empty.
- Dispose of the packaging for those expensive items in the bin
Almost a third of all burglaries are classed as ‘insecure’ break ins – which means the home owner didn’t take reasonable precautions to prevent it. So while some of these things might seem obvious, it never hurts to be reminded.
- Lock all doors and windows (and remove the keys).
- Set your alarm each time you go out (if you have one). Just having the alarm isn’t enough – you need to actually use it. Most people don’t bother setting their alarm unless they’re going on holiday, but they really need to be set every time your house is empty. (Don’t worry, Santa doesn’t set off alarms).
- Leave lights on when you’re out – or anything else that makes your home look occupied. The cost of a little electricity is minimal compared to the cost of a break in. Ideally, you’ll use timers for this, but you could also use smart lights, or just leave a device or two on.
- Keep smaller valuables in a safe. Preferably one that’s bolted to the ground and can’t be carried away, and with a secure locking mechanism. This includes cash gifts you’re giving for Christmas – keep them in a safe until you actually give them, if you can.
And of course, look at getting a security system. Studies have shown that one of the most effective burglar deterrents is the installation of security cameras – which reduce the risk of break ins by 90%. A good security system can keep intruders at bay all through the year, and make sure that your family always has a merry, and secure Christmas. If you would like to know more, or want a quote to secure your home this festive season, just get in touch with Securifix today.