As we enter the season of joy, gift giving and of families united it’t important not to become complacent with your home security. December is a tough month financially for many, with presents to buy and events to attend, this joyous period comes with at least some drawbacks.
You see, Christmas is not only a busy time for you but also for would be burglars. Whereas on the whole burglaries are decreasing in Northern Ireland, over the Christmas fortnight they increase by an estimated 20-30%. Criminals celebrate the festive period with criminal activity, taking the opportunity for robberies, break ins & pick pocketing. Last year, the total number of 1,382 cases recorded with an average of almost 50 cases being made each day over the Christmas period, Halifax said.
So why are the burglars more likely to strike on the Christmas season? The simple reason is that houses are full of easy accessible items to steal and sell and generally households unknowingly lower their guard more around the festive period.
10 Tips To Keep Your House Secure From Burglars
Here at All Locks NI, we have devised 10 ways to keep your house secure this Christmas and how to beat the Christmas burglars.
1. Lock All Doors & Windows
Most burglaries are opportunistic in nature. Recently, our locksmiths in Bangor have witnessed the seasonal rise in Burglaries, the majority of the call outs we went to change locks were from what are deemed opportunistic burglaries. Unlocked doors account for a large percentage or burglaries. Ensure you lock all doors and windows both when you’re in the house and out, double check them if you need to.
2. Don’t Leave Presents Under your Christmas Tree
We may be in the festive spirit and want to decorate our house as much as possible however the PSNI warn householders not to leave presents under the Christmas tree. If presents are visible from the doors or windows of your house you should hide them away. Leaving presents out acts as incentive for burglars who want to grab the highest value of items in the easiest way and your home could become a target.
3. Use Mortice Locks
Mortice locks are known to be particularly tough for would be criminals to get into. Unlike uPVC locks which burglars use a method called “lock snapping” to get into, mortice locks offer a further layer of security. It is advised you fit 5 lever mortice locks on your front and back external doors for added security and to deter potential criminal activity.
4. Use an Intruder Alarm
An intruder alarm not only alerts you if someone breaks in, but also acts as a deterrent. Would be criminals go for the easiest route, so you dramatically reduce the chance of a burglary if you have an alarm installed and active.
5. Keep Cash in the Bank
More targeted burglaries tend to occur when criminals get wind of potential high value items or money in a property. Cash is the ultimate prize for burglars, as it doesn’t need to be sold and can’t be traced back. If you have any large sums of money sat around the house or in your safe, it’s advised to deposit that in a bank for safe keeping.
6. Be Careful what you Post on Social Media
A modern consideration for any Christmas home security tips is to be careful about what you post on social media. If a burglar has access to your name via your personal information and old post, he can easily find your social media accounts too. Sharing Christmas Party countdowns or updates while you are away from your home is an open invitation for a burglar to head your home with information that he won’t be disturbed.
7. Keep your Keys Safe
The easiest way for a burglar to steal your car or gain access to your home is with your keys. Keeping your keys on you or in a safe location while you’re both out the house and inside is recommended. Keep keys out of site and ensure you don’t have any keys near any windows or doors.
8. Fit Barrel Locks as Secondary Protection
A barrel lock is a great way to double down on your lock protection. Barrel locks can be fitted internally to the top or bottom of your front or back door to act as a secondary security mechanism.
9. Security Lights
Security lights can be fitted externally in dark areas around your house, generally near any doors or windows. The light operates with a sensor, which when triggered will turn the light on for a period or 15-30seconds. This puts would be burglars off as they know that if they break the sensor the light will go on and potentially alert the home owners.
10. Get a Security Assessment
If you’re still concerned this holiday period, get a security assessment from a professional. A locksmith can check your locks and recommend upgrades and alarm companies can install CCTV cameras or alarm systems to your property.