As the first of our 12 Property Posts of Christmas we thought we would get the not so ‘good’ one out of the way first. We all love the festive season and the cheer it brings to friends and families, it is a time when we all come together.
Unfortunately there are people who will attempt to ruin this time of year by breaking into your house to steal your personal items and Christmas gifts. Being burgled is an invasive and devastating crime to anyone and home burglars view this season as the best time to break into our homes to take cash, gifts, credit cards and anything else that is easy for them to sell on and get money for.
During the festive season it is an awful experience and expensive if you haven’t taken the right precautions. We have put together a check list to help you make sure that you and you’re personal belongings are kept safe.
1. Burglars look for an easy entry with good escape routes. Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so it’s easily visible from the street. It’s too tempting for them to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages.
2. Burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, or junk mail hanging out of your letter box. Use an in-expensive light timer when you are away and ask a neighbour to keep the front of your home clean of mail.
3. Burglars know to look for the hidden door key near the front entrance. Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to a trusted neighbour or family member.
4. Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors or windows. Sliding windows that are not secure can be seen from a distance. One holiday problem that occurs is when exterior Christmas light extension cords are run inside through a window and prevent it from being closed. Hire an electrician or handyman to install an exterior outlet for your exterior Christmas lights.
5. Don’t leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like, “You’ve reached the Wilson’s…we’re away skiing for the Christmas holidays…please leave a message.” Burglars love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and completely ransack your home.
6. After Christmas day, don’t pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or other electrical items on the street for the rubbish men. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break them down or cut them up to conceal the items better. After a lucrative burglary, the chances of being burgled again are increased to steal the new replacement products.
It is also a good idea to ensure that your home contents insurance covers you for all gift items and that it is all up to date. During these tight times home insurance and other little monthly outgoings are the first things to be cut to save us a bit of money, we all like to think that we are safe but you never know when something like this could happen to you.
A few extra precautions will leave you free to enjoy the festive season with your loved ones and have a jolly good time!