Tis the season to be merry, so the song goes. However for a large number of us, this holiday season will take a turn for the gloomy; as thieves and burglars step up their activity. It doesn’t seem to matter where you live, even the most respectable and well policed area’s are subject to a rise in crime over Christmas.
Unfortunately, for most burglars the holiday season provides an opportunity which simply cannot be missed. The public’s attitude of “it will never happen to me”, coupled with a clear lack of attention being paid to home security means nothing is safe.
Whether there is a seasoned professional or opportunistic burglar in your midst, this how-to guide aims to help you stay burglar free this Christmas and New Year.
1. Never announce your absence
Don’t talk about your holiday plans in public. It doesn’t matter if you are in the library or super market, in announcing your absence you are pretty much giving potential burglars the key. Be aware that just because someone doesn’t fit what you consider to be a criminal profile, it doesn’t mean they aren’t.
2. Tell your neighbours
Neighbourhood watch schemes can be very useful in preventing burglaries, having more than one pair of eyes watching an area will always dissuade potential burglars. Watchful neighbours are invaluable when going on holiday as if asked nicely they may also pick up mail and packages.
3. Cancel orders
If you have milk delivered or an ongoing subscription you should cancel them over the period of your absence. A build up of mail or anything else at your front door is a clear indication of vacancy – burglars will be looking for such signs.
4. Remove tags from any luggage
Clever burglars congregate at airports and train stations. In putting an address tag on your luggage you are basically giving them the address of an empty house!
5. Brighten up outside
It may sound very obvious but burglars do not like well lit areas. If given the choice of approaching a well lit house or a dark one there would be only one winner. If you want to be a little more environmentally conscious invest in a motion sensor light, therefor only illuminating when something comes into range.
6. Double check windows
30% of all break-ins are facilitated through windows. It really doesn’t take a long time to make sure they are shut and locked.
7. Invest in timers
Timer switches will turn on anything electrical at set times in your absence, creating the false perception that someone is home. Burglars will be looking out for dark houses, thus this small investment could save you money in the long run.
8. Don’t leave a key anywhere
Burglars aren’t stupid, unlike the thought of hiding the key under the door mat, gnome or hedgehog is. If you do need to leave a spare key, do so with one of your neighbours or invest in a keyless lock.
9. Get an alarm
Not just to alert you to when you are being burgled, alarms do an equally good job of dissuading potential burglars. If you can’t afford an alarm, get yourself an alarm sign; sometimes just having a sign on your property or in your garden will do enough.
This article and ideas are brought to you in association with Yale composite doors. All Yale doors adhere to the strictest security regulations. Yale’s exterior doors combine bold design with state of the art manufacturing techniques.
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