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How to keep your home safe this Christmas

A home security camera wearing a Santa hat

Christmas, as we all know, is a time for glad tidings and joy, but it is sadly also a bumper time of year for burglars. According to data from insurance firms, the calendar's highest volume of burglary claims occur in the week leading up to 23rd December. So it pays to keep vigilant. Here’s how you can do just that:

Keep your door super secure

Three-quarters of house break-ins occur through the front door. Therefore, it makes sense to prioritise your main door as safety concern number one.

If you can’t afford an entirely new, safer door - there are other options. Consider having the lock replaced with a special anti-pick, anti-bump, anti-drill cylinder lock.

Never leave windows open

Okay, so December temperatures don’t really call for cracking a window open, but a day of cooking turkeys and roasting potatoes might steam things up and tempt you to open a window or two. Fine. Just make sure you shut and lock them before going out or going to sleep.

Install a doorbell camera

This is just fairly useful anti-burglary advice regardless of the time of year. No thieves like to be watched or filmed for evidence. A visible doorbell camera - or CCTV set-up - is a red flag to many criminals.

Hide presents

We know how lovely a Christmas tree looks when it’s sat atop a mountain of beautifully-wrapped gifts. It looks very inviting, doesn’t it? At least it does to a criminal.

There’s nothing wrong with presents under the tree, just try to minimise the time that all those stealable items are sat under the pines of your festive spruce.

Pretend someone’s in even when they aren’t

While some break-ins are the work of opportunists, many burglars take an altogether more professional approach to their dubious work. They very often ‘case the joint’. What would a burglar’s reconnaissance tell them about your house? You want them to be unable to predict your movements.

Obfuscation is the name of the game here. Leaving the television and lights on may not appeal much in a cost of energy crisis, but if it puts a thief off breaking and entering your home it may just be worth it.

Going away? Have a neighbour pick up your post

If, like many people, you go to stay with family for Christmas, try not to leave any clues that you’re away. Visibly piling up post is a dead giveaway. If it’s possible to see a mountain of bills, Christmas cards and pizza menus from the outside, ask a neighbour to pop in every few days and hide the evidence.

Watch what you say on social media

If you’re going away for any time over the festive period, be careful how widely you share that information online. You may be surprised just how much information can be pieced together from a few tagged Instagram photos, a couple of Facebook status updates or the odd tweet.

Don’t make life easy for burglars

If a burglar is determined that they’re going to break into your house, then there’s a good chance that they will. Even so, don’t make their lives easy. In fact, making the break-in as tricky as possible may be enough to put them off.

Lock doors, lock windows, install alarms, install cameras and don’t leave curtains open when you’re out. Do everything you can to make burgling your home as difficult as you can.

Make sure you're insured

Do your best to keep safe, but plan for the worst. While you can try to keep the thieves at bay, it may still not be entirely possible.

As long as you have complied with all of the policy conditions, buildings and contents insurance will protect your house in the event of a break-in.

Take photographs of your belongings and store them safely. Also, cling to the receipts for any new Christmas gifts or other purchases. These will serve as ownership evidence if you need to make a claim. If you don't take reasonable precautions to safeguard your house and goods, your insurance may become void. Remember that.

A little good news? It appears as if even burglars take some time off over Christmas. Insurance claims decline on Christmas Eve (65% below the yearly average), Christmas Day (56% below) and Boxing Day (41% below).

Don’t let your guard down, no matter what the date is. Keep your home safe and have a better Christmas than the thieves.