Friday, December 20, 2019

Property: Risk of burglary doubles in December - how to protect your home this Christmas

With the days getting darker and nights longer, some people might worry about the security of their property. Burglaries in the UK double from November to December, according to research commissioned by Verisure, Europe’s leading provider of monitored security solutions. Experts have shared how it is still possible to keep your home safe over the festive period.

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The findings revealed half of burglaries take less than 10 minutes to carry out and 75 percent take place during the week.

With dark nights and many people travelling over the holidays, 53 percent of homeowners explained they feel unsafe during the winter months.

If worried about their property, Britons can make some changes to make the home more secure.

Experts at Verisure shared the top ways people can protect their homes and possessions this Christmas.

Speak to your neighbours

They said: “Keep your eyes open for unfamiliar cars and people in the vicinity of your home and stay alert to any suspicious or unusual activity.

“Create a WhatsApp group with your trusted neighbours, or speak to them regularly in person, as a way to stay vigilant collectively during the holiday season.”

Shut all doors and windows

“Ensure that your doors are properly locked, even if you are home, and always keep windows closed if you go out,” the experts added.

“Speak to your children about safety and remind them of the importance of shutting windows and locking doors behind them when they leave.”

Lock doors when going out

The experts explained: “It is highly advisable that each door has two locks. 

“Never leave a spare key anywhere near your home, like the classic ‘under the doormat’ or ‘behind the plant pot’ place.

“This is where thieves will instinctively look, and you’re making their job much easier.”

Keep the property is well-lit

“A simple way of deterring thieves is to have adequate lighting both inside and outside your home through security and timed lights.

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“Ensure that no doors and parking areas are in darkness at night.”

Don’t leave parcels on your doorstep

They said: “An increase in deliveries at this time of year is normal but don’t leave them on your doorstep as this is a clear signal that no-one’s at home.

“Arrange for a neighbour to sign for parcels if you’re out or arrange a secure hiding place for the delivery company.”

Install a monitored alarm system

“Install a professional home security system, which is monitored 24/7 by trained operators and will help not only deter potential burglars but also thwart intrusions if they do happen,” they said.

The research showed 73 percent of Britons will not try to increase their home security when leaving the property empty, but doing this could reduce the risk of being targeted.

Horacio Perez, operations director at Verisure UK, said: “We know that 80 percent of burglaries occur during short absences, many less than 10 minutes.

“But what’s really alarming is that many homeowners are making break-ins particularly easy for burglars with 16 percent leaving ground floor windows or doors open.”

Locking up, installing a security system and timed lights could all help keep the property secure.

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