Secure Your Home This Christmas

The Christmas period every year sees a rise in burglary’s across most of the world that celebrate it. It’s a busy time for most people, leaving houses unattended for longer periods of time than normal. Everybody’s out getting Christmas present’s or out shopping for food to stock up the cupboards for Christmas Day, visiting family that you don’t see as much during the year and some even take an extra holiday. Not only is your house being left unattended more than normal, but most families will also have a substantial amount of wealth contained within their house…. the presents! At no other time of the year do so many families have so many expensive items within their homes, and while everyone is busy running around to prepare for the big day and visiting family it can be easy pickings for criminals. Here I will discuss ways to make your home more secure so that you don’t fall prey to Christmas thieves!

**A point to note** Throughout this article I have listed various items available from Amazon that can help you to secure your home. The items I have mentioned are capably of performing the jobs mentioned according to their own product descriptions, but I have not tested these and am not recommending these as the only products to use. They are merely examples of what you can use and are easily available from Amazon. **

Appearance IS Everything

Within the world of security appearance is often one of the best deterrences around. If something looks too hard to break into, often thieves won’t even try. How that relates to a home environment is that you must remember the basics. Make sure your window’s are shut and locked, if applicable, when you are out or asleep. It seems obvious, I know, but thousands of homes are burgled every year using an open or unlocked door or window. Make sure if you have outside lights decorating your house that extension leads are not run through open windows. Find  a way to keep the window locked and secure or feed the extension out underneath a garage door or similar.

Keeping Up With The Joneses

A Yale dummy alarm box can ward off any would-be burglars. £17.39 from Amazon

In terms of home security this is where the common saying “keeping up with the Joneses” is actually a good thing. If your house is the only one in the street without an alarm system, you automatically make yourself an easy target. Think about it, put yourself in the shoes of a burglar. You go into a street of 20 houses and find all the houses except for one or two have alarms. Would you try and break into the alarmed houses or go for the few that are unprotected?!  But this doesn’t mean that if your neighbour has a £10,000 alarm system fitted that you should go out and buy the same, unless of course you can afford to. Remember appearance is everything. You’re home only needs to appear to be as secure. If you can’t afford to install a fully working home alarm system then you can buy dummy alarm boxes (Such as the one to the left available from Amazon) or fake CCTV cameras for next to nothing. These will give the appearance of a home security system without costing a fortune. Obviously it goes without saying that if you can afford to purchase real security options then this is what you should do. A basic but very capable 4 camera CCTV can be bought for a little over £100 and is easy to set up for anyone who is even just a little DIY savvy. The best option though would be to hire a company in, to carry out a security survey and assessment and fit and install what you require. You can find a list of CCTV and home security companies within our directory pages here: Home Security Companies.

Entry Alarms

Magnetic window and door alarms can be very effective. Buy from Amazon from just £10

Another method for securing your home is with the use of magnetic entry alarms. These are commonly used on full house alarm systems but due to the beauty of modern technology they are now available, at a relatively low cost, as independent alarm points. The way they work is you attach both a sensor and alarm side by side over the crack of a door or window. One part of the alarm system attached to the door or window and the other part attached to the frame. When the alarm is armed and someone opens the door or window it breaks the magnetic connection between the two devices causing a high pitch audible alarm, similar to that of a rape alarm. These alarms can be placed on all windows and doors in your property, or on just the most accessible.

Be Discreet

During the Christmas period there seems to be a growing temptation for people to display lights on the outside of their house. It looks nice and makes it seem more festive and is great for kids. Some people take this a step further and have big Christmas trees displayed in their window, lights flashing showing off what an amazing tree they have. But this also allows burglars to have a look inside your home and calculate whether or not it is worth breaking in. Keep curtains shut  at night or when you’re not home and keep the burglars guessing, don’t give them a menu! And definitely DO NOT leave curtains open through the night on Christmas Eve when the tree is stacked with presents underneath. Personally I can think  little worse worse than being burgled on Christmas Eve, but it happens for that very reason! Another point to consider within discretion is your house and car keys. There is an increasing rate of burglaries and car thefts whereby the thieves steal house or car keys through letterboxes and then use them to easily gain entry to your house, or simply drive off with your car. How they do this is by looking through letterboxes or windows to try and locate your house/car keys. If they can see them, then they can reach them. The burglars will then use something similar to a fishing rod through your letterbox to hook your keys and pull them out. Similarly if you leave them by a small window they can easily break, they will use this opportunity. To counter this, ensure that your keys are always kept out of sight and out of reach from openings or weak windows. A final point to consider within discretion is when you throw away your packaging from all the gifts you receive on Christmas Day. Store your packaging inside your house or garage until collection day. Leaving your brand new TV box outside along with all the other packaging from gifts for a week while you wait for the bin men to turn up is like leaving a menu outside for thieves. Keep it secure and out of sight until you can dispose of it to ensure that you don’t make your home seem like a worthwhile target.

Deterrence is Key

Deterring any would-be thieves is the key to securing your home, and it can be done in many ways, ranging in cost from very small right through to tens of thousands. In an ideal world cost should never dictate security needs but unfortunately rarely is that the case, even in the professional security arena. I would ALWAYS advise that you get the best security system that your budget allows for. Physical security systems are absolutely better than using fake CCTV cameras or alarm boxes but not everyone can afford that, especially at this time of year. Do the best that your budget allows for. A fake alarm box is better than no alarm box!! Above all else your home should be YOUR home and the one place where you feel safe and secure. Many victims of burglary are left feeling violated and vulnerable. This is not something that anyone should have to go and can be avoided by using the simple tips above. It should be understood though that nothing in the world is completely secure. Thieves will always find a way to take what they don’t have but by ensuring your home is as secure as possible, you can greatly reduce the risk to you and your family of becoming a victim.

Have a Merry Christmas!

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