Keep Your Home Secure this Christmas

The festive season is one of the best times of year for the whole family, but unfortunately, it is also a favourite for thieves, and therefore can be the time when our home is most vulnerable. As the nights are getting increasingly darker much earlier, and presents are appearing under our trees, it’s never been a better time to ensure your house is more secure as possible than at this time of year.
We’ve rounded up some of the best tips from the best experts to help you keep you, your loved ones and your possessions safe this Christmas.
Keep expensive gifts out of sight
As the kid’s lists seem to involve more expensive and elaborate items each year, it’s more essential than ever to keep those gifts hidden. Perhaps save putting the presents under the tree until Christmas Eve, and keep them firmly hidden until then in a secure place. Lofts and basements are always a good idea, as they are the most inaccessible to thieves. 
Ensure your windows and doors are burglar proof
Keep windows and doors locked at all times to eliminate the chance of opportunist thieves entering your property. If your windows and doors have seen better days, it may be a good idea to think about updating them at this time of year, as strong uPVC doors and frames in particular are your best defence against criminals. As always, keep valuables hidden from sight away from windows, and never have spare keys outside your property, even if they are well hidden. Leave them with a neighbour or family member instead.

Take precautions if spending the holiday away from home
If you’re lucky enough to be spending the festive season away this year, there are a number of things you can do to reduce any problems. Be careful about where you advertise your holiday – for example, don’t post details on social networking sites until you have returned, so that potential thieves are not aware of when your house will be unoccupied. Also, why not invest in light timers that you can set to turn your lamps/lights on at certain, specified times, to make it appear as if someone is at home. Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your home whilst you’re away, too. 
Be wary when using festive lighting
Christmas lights and decorations are a great part of the holiday period, but they can also cause problems regarding security. Ensure the outside lights are left on even whilst you are not at home, so that it appears that you are. However, be sure to turn Christmas tree lights off when you aren’t present, as this can be a dangerous fire hazard. You could even ask a neighbour to turn your lights off at a certain time, if you know you are going to be very late home.
Take the time to test your burglar alarm
A visible burglar alarm on the outside of your house can automatically be a strong deterrent to burglars, as it shows that your home is protected. However, if it does not work, it will of course be pointless. If thinking about updating your alarm system, do a lot of research to find out which system is the best for your property, budget and lifestyle. 

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