The 12 (Days Of) Christmas Security Tips
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
It really is. We love Christmas. Sadly, so do criminals.
If you are in any doubt that Christmas poses a greater chance of crime then you should check out the UK Crime Stats for crime types and the timeline from December 2021.
Antisocial behaviour, burglary, robbery and vehicular crime all tend to peak in the run-up to the festive season and for the most part, can be easily avoided by taking some very basic measures. Being mindful of the following points may make the difference between having a truly wonderful Christmas or the kind of Christmas that we hear Wham! sing about every sodding year.
These 12 Christmas Security Tips will give you some pointers to think about on the build-up to the turkey carving and watching the Queen’s festive speech:
Deter Would-Be Threats
We know that determined, organised criminals are rarely put off by things like motion-activated floodlights, basic alarms or CCTV systems. But these measures will generally deter opportunists. These people are generally not properly equipped or experienced to bypass any security measures. They see something they want to steal and go for it. Really basic security will usually be enough to put them off, scare them away or buy valuable time to make them ‘reconsider their actions’.
Don’t Leave Gifts On Show Or Parcels & Deliveries On View
We all love having a beautifully decorated home at Christmas, with festive lighting, tinsel and a Christmas tree or two. These are often visible from the outside and present the ultimate temptation to criminals.
Please consider that a Christmas tree is like a big X marking the spot where many people will store their gifts. We then add flashing lights (that often get left on all night) which make those gifts more visible or routinely have boxes of gifts dumped on our doorsteps by less reputable delivery drivers. *Cough YODEL Cough*.
We know that a Christmas tree surrounded by presents is the perfect Christmas image but perhaps wait until the big day to bring all those gifts out, otherwise, you may be running the risk of attracting a Grinch or two.
Keep Windows & Doors Shut & Locked
All windows and doors should really be locked and secure by default but a combination of things may mean that we don’t apply the normal rules.
You might have cables for Christmas lights tucked through a window or keep windows ajar for a bit of airflow if you’ve had visitors over. But please remember that not taking a second or two to close a window can make your home open and vulnerable to attack.
Even windows that may look too small to fit a person through can provide a bit of a surprise as not all criminals are big burly bruisers. Often opportunist criminals are quite young and will fit through gaps that homeowners wouldn’t consider big enough for a human.
Plan For Trips Away
It’s always worth planning ahead if you are going away. You may be visiting family or simply popping for a few beers down the pub. Just remember that a few clear indicators that no one is home can provide a big temptation to criminal elements. If your vehicles are not outside your property, all lights are off and the home is silent, then it’s a fair chance that no one is home.
At the very least, think about letting trusted neighbours know you will be away and adding some basic measures to make it appear you are home.
Simple things like a light on upstairs or in a bedroom (with the curtains closed) or radio being left on can create an impression that the house is occupied. You may even have smart light bulbs or smart devices that can be activated or scheduled to come on whilst you are not at home. Ideally at random times which create the appearance of a person being at home.
Keeping Curtains or Blinds Closed
It seems so obvious but simply not allowing the contents of your home to be visible from the outside can be the biggest security measure you can take. If opportunists can not see in but there are lights on, it poses a greater risk for them to try and enter a property.
If a person might be home, it is often less appealing than an empty house, where they will have some time and space to act out their evil intent.
Dispose of Packaging Properly
Crime does not stop on Christmas Day. It’s worth remembering that things like laptop boxes or expensive gift packaging can be a clear indicator to criminals that your home is with targeting. It’s always worth taking a bit of extra time to tear boxes and conceal any expensive looking gift items, perhaps burying them at the bottom of the recycling bin.
Or simply keep the boxes… It always makes things worth more when the kids are bored and you want to resell them!
Leading on nicely from the last point, it’s important throughout the year to be protective of your personal details and things like receipts or bank details. Criminals can use all sorts of information that might not even seem important. From your address to your bank details, even the names of your children.
Please shred any documents that contain identification and retain any paperwork that contains information that you would not be comfortable with sharing.
Secure Out Buildings & Vehicles
Sheds and garages offer year-round temptation to criminals. They can contain expensive tools or useful items like lawnmowers, pressure washers and generators; all things that can be easily stolen and sold on.
Secondary issues arise from not securing things like ladders or tools which could be used by criminals to gain entry to your home itself. But people tend to forget that vehicles also offer an opportunity for speedy entry and theft, especially if tempting items are on view like presents or bags full of shopping.
A “Hidden” Key Makes Your Home Vulnerable
We know that many homeowners like to keep an emergency key tucked away in a memorable spot, should they lose their main set of keys and want to get into the house. Whilst this may turn into a life-saver at some point, it also poses a massive security flaw. Just remember that a key under a doormat or plant pot is a pretty cliched hiding spot and would only take a second to check!
Keep You Pets Safe
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. The same is true of cats. Unfortunately, pets have become the targets of very evil criminal gangs. It’s one of the most heart-breaking and nasty things that someone could possibly do to a family and sadly it happens. So please make sure your pets are as safe and secure as possible.
You may not be able to stop your pet wandering or think that they are safe but try to ensure they are in an enclosed garden that cannot be easily accessed by people with bad intentions.
Set Alarms If You Have Them Or Create Smart Routines
Alarms are not always effective security for many modern homes. Many will be outdated and all require regular servicing and upkeep. Arguably, it’s far more effective to create routines on smart devices or simply use your smart apps to turn on lights, music or radio if you are out.
Again, the impression of someone being home will deter most threats but if you are away then make sure alarms are set.
Reviewing Your Security
Whilst most homes can be secured by taking the basic steps above, many homes, especially prestige homes or those owned by people of Ultra High Net Worth, can be a much bigger target for organised criminals.
Safe Security Solutions works with people and businesses who need an extra layer of security that simply does not fail. We reduce false alarms and create immediate deterrents that deal with a threat before it has time to do harm. If you are in any doubt about your security or require a system that covers wide, open areas, then please feel free to get in touch with our friendly, expert team.
We hope you found these 12 Christmas security tips useful and we’d like to wish our clients, friends and everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and hope that you remain safe over the festive period.