Top Tips for Avoiding Christmas Burglary

Friday, 06 December 2013

November and December are unfortunately peak months for burglary, and police forces across the country are now ramping up their annual burglary awareness efforts in the run-up to Christmas.

While each force has its own campaign (like the 'Don’t Let Thieves Steal Your Christmas' initiative in Cumbria), there’s also a nationwide campaign titled 'Operation Julius'. Launched in October, it has included crackdowns on known burglars, though of course it's difficult for police to completely tackle the problem.

However, there are a few simple things you can do to help protect your home and deter opportunistic thieves:

Invest in outdoor lighting. Burglars are less likely to approach brightly lit homes, as the risk of being spotted by neighbours is too great. If you do decorate the outside of your home, keep it secure: don’t feed electrical wires through a crack in your window. Choose battery operated lights, or install a plug socket in your garden.

Don’t brag on social media. It might be tempting to tweet about how the whole family is out enjoying themselves at the Christmas market, or to post photographs of the expensive gifts you’ve bought for the kids, but try to resist. Social media is used frequently by burglars to scout out potential targets.

Keep your garage door locked. If your home has an adjoining garage, make sure that you keep the door locked at all times, so that thieves can't gain entry to the house proper by breaking into the garage.

Hide presents carefully. The usual hiding places for expensive goodies - like under the bed or in the wardrobe - are likely to be the first places a burglar will search if they do gain access, so try to hide gifts more creatively. Thieves aren't likely to go rummaging about in the attic (and neither are the kids!).

Be vigilant. According to the Home Office, 20% of burglaries show no signs of forced entry because someone has left a door or window open, which can also invalidate your home insurance cover. Before you leave the property, do a quick perimeter check to make sure all windows and doors are secure.

Sources:
1. http://www.in-cumbria.com/cumbria-police-warn-don-t-let-thieves-steal-your-christmas-1.1099288
2. http://technorati.com/social-media/article/how-burglars-are-using-social-media/
3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theoneshow/2009/12/christmas-burglaries-keep-your.shtml 

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