Jack Frost isn’t the only miscreant threatening to bring harm to your home over the winter. As the dark nights draw in, your home is also under added threat from burglars. While these uncaring swines operate all year round, there is extra incentive for them to break into your property now. Thanks to the protection of the dark, they will be on the hunt for all of the usual valuable items they look for, as well as Christmas presents to sell on for whatever nefarious purposes they have in mind. So, as you prepare your home for the winter chill, you should also focus on home security, to keep those blasted burglars out. Here are some tips we think you will find useful.
It’s that perfect winter window scene; a family warming their hands to a blazing fire, while next to them stands a Christmas tree with presents nestled beneath. Passersby walk by and wave, probably a little jealous at the warmth emanating from the home. It’s a picture you will have seen on many an Advent Calendar or Christmas card, and it’s sure to give you that warm glow inside. Sadly, because a passerby could be a potential burglar, you might want to rearrange your home’s interior. While you might want to show off your Christmas tree to your neighbours, you don’t want to highlight any gifts nestled below. Either put your Christmas tree in a room away from your main windows or resist the urge to put any gifts beneath it until the later hours of Christmas Eve. And even then, you should still close your curtains or put up some festive blinds, as Santa won’t be the only one at work at this time of the year.
Check your doors and windows
For starters, ensure you always keep doors and windows closed. Any opening is a welcome call to the burglar, so shut and secure entry points to curb temptation. Be sure to check your locking fixtures too. If any are loose or faulty, it’s in your best interests to repair or replace them. There are a number of locks on the market, including advanced smart locks that require your phone to open them, rather than a key. Don’t worry, Santa will still be able to get in with his magic key (if you don’t have a chimney), but the burglar will have a harder time trying to gain entry once you have strengthened your defenses.
Let there be light
Shed light on the burglar, and you will scare him (or her) away. By installing a motion-sensored lighting system around your home’s exterior, they will be caught out when they try to cross your threshold. This will also deter any pesky neighbourhood cats or your neighbours when they are trying to get a peek at your indoor Christmas decorations! You might want to add extra lighting around your home’s exterior, considering the festive season ahead. A lantern or two may give your home that Christmassy feel while shedding more light on your garden perimeters. Another good idea is to install a lighting control system inside your property. Days are getting darker earlier, so you may be at work when the sun sets. However, you can pretend that you’re at home with integrated occupancy simulation to bolster your home’s security. This is also useful should you be away from home over the Christmas period.
Secure your garage and/or shed
Your garage is another entryway into your home, so you may want to replace the mechanism or doors if there are any prevailing faults. Check the following linked site for available options, including tilt garage doors and roller doors, dependant on your requirements. The same applies to your shed, if you have one, so replace locks and invest in a strong padlock for extra measure. As a preventative measure, resist the urge to store Christmas presents in your garage or shed, as the savvy burglar will be quick to check these places for any hidden goodies.
Invest in an alarm system
This should be a no-brainer, but do you have an alarm system in your home? Many people don’t, despite the threat of an intruder. If you haven’t invested yet, now is the time to do so. While there will be an expense, this is better than the riches you will have lost once the burglar gains entry. There are a number of alarm systems on the market, including the ones listed here. Once your alarm system has been installed, you then need to do two things. The first is to remember to switch it on, be that at bedtime or when you are away from your property. The second is to place stickers around your property to make any would-be burglar think twice before trying to gain entry.
Get a dog
Okay, a dog is for life and not just for Christmas, but this is as good a time a year as any to get one. While any dog will do – their barking will act as an alarmed deterrent to most burglars – you might still consider choosing a breed that is a better guard dog than a Yorkshire Terrier or a Chihuahua. Consider these dogs as examples, when you’re choosing this four-legged addition to your home’s security. Your kids will be thrilled at their new family pet, while the burglar will be less than thrilled at the barks and growls heard from within.
Tidy your front garden
During the winter months, the garden can become neglected. You probably don’t want to get your gardening gloves on in the cold, meaning your grass and shrubbery will become long and unkempt. For the passing burglar, this is a good thing. Like a snake in the grass, their presence will be well-hidden, as your lawn will have a variety of hiding places to take sneaky refuge. Therefore, have one last go at your garden before it becomes too nippy for you to go outside. Mow your lawn. Trim your hedges. Cut back tree branches. Remove any large garden ornaments or statues that could act as a hiding place. Let your green fingers go to work so the burglar won’t be tempted to get light-fingered in your property.
Invest in home security cameras
Another expense but a useful one, these will act as another deterrent to burglars and give you evidence of any criminal activity. Install CCTV cameras on your home’s exterior, especially near any possible entry points, and then install such things as teddy-cams inside your property as an extra measure. The former will scare burglars away, and the latter will give away their identity should they get inside, as well as letting you keep track of your nosey Christmas visitors when they are moving around your home.
Don’t broadcast your whereabouts
ou may have big plans this Christmas. From going to see a panto at the local theatre to visiting family for an extended period, there is a lot you are probably looking forward to. And in your excitement, you are probably tempted to let all and sundry know what you are up to on Facebook, and the rest of the social media platforms you have at your disposal. Your exciting news is exciting news to the burglar. When they know you will be away from home at any point, they will make it part of their festive itinerary to pop by for a visit when you’re not in, and help themselves to more than your mince pies and mulled wine. Therefore, be careful what you broadcast to others, and at the very least, double and triple-check your privacy settings to make sure only those close to you hear your news.
Enlist your neighbour’s help
if you have trusted neighbours, ask them to keep an eye on your property for you. Especially if you are going away, the least they can do is hide evidence of the vacancy. This includes picking up the mounting Christmas cards on your doormat, and turning your lights on and off during the day. Alternatively, ask friends and family do this for you. Give them a contact number to reach you on too, just in case there is an emergency back at home. Be sure to reward them with a Christmas pressie as a thank you for their welcomed vigilance.
Winter is a time to let people into your home. From your friends and neighbours for a glass of mulled wine, to any visiting family who may be taking up residence at your home for the season, you will welcome them in with a cheery smile and a festive pullover. It’s also the time to let Santa in, with his festive ho ho ho’s and generous gift giving. But it is not a time to let in the burglar, with his sneaky tactics and ungenerous gift snatching. Therefore, follow our winter security tips to protect you from anybody meaning to do you harm, and share any ideas you may have if we have neglected to mention something in this article. Thanks for reading, and may we be the first to say those magical words to you, Merry Christmas, even if at the time of writing we haven’t even past Halloween yet!