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During the festive season the last thing we want to think about is the chances of our home being burgled or having our belongings stolen. However it is unfortunately true that robbery and burglary are among their highest levels throughout the festive season, soon before and after the Christmas season. This is because people tend to carry more money with them to spend when shopping, are more likely to buy more goods than usual and are more likely to have more new and valuable items in their home to give as gifts or which have been received as gifts. To help keep your home and belongings secure keep the following tips in mind:
If you are leaving home for a short time, leave a light on:
Leaving one light on can make burglars less likely to target your home when you are away as all the lights being off would normally serve as an indication that nobody is present.
Keep your wallet or purse in your inside coat pocket:
Pickpocketing is a common form of theft in busy areas around this time of year. A good way to prevent being a victim on theft in this way is to keep your wallet or purse and other valuables in your inside coat pocket or a bag which can be closed and not held behind you. Also only carry as much cash as you need when you are shopping and pay for large purchases with your bank debit card.
Be discreet when disposing of packaging:
If you have bought or received an expensive gift such as a new laptop, tablet, or television, be careful when disposing of the packaging. If possible place the packaging in communal bins away from your home. Potential burglars will often scout homes before targeting them and knowing that you have recently obtained high-price items from packaging left outside your home can make them more likely to target your home.
Record serial numbers of electronic devices:
Record serial numbers of any electronic devices such as televisions, mobile phones, laptops and tablets that you have. This will make it somewhat easier to find the items if lost and may also help prosecute in the event of theft as it can sometimes prove ownership.
Be careful with social media posting:
Be careful not to broadcast via social media that you will be away for a specified length of time or to show off a shiny new item. This is particularly dangerous if you are tagging your posts by location. This may sound far-fetched and paranoid, but there have been real cases of burglaries committed as a result of burglars scouting on social media for targets.
Limit visibility into your home:
Close your curtains or blinds to limit visibility to the inside of your home, particularly in your living room. Burglars may scout a whole street and glance in particular windows to target particular items.
Ensure all doors and windows are locked before you leave home:
Although this may sound obvious it can be easy to forget to lock your doors and windows so that they are not only closed but unable to be opened from the outside. This is particularly true for rear doors if your home has them.
If you are away from home during the festive season, ask a friend or relative to pop in while you are away
Even if just to check for post or look after plants, this will give the appearance to any potential burglars on the outside that your home is not left unoccupied.