After what has been an awful Covid-damaged 2020 many people are planning to see out the year in style and make the most of Christmas, but that could leave their homes vulnerable to domestic burglary.
A domestic burglary takes place every 40 seconds in the UK, so it pays to protect your home as best you can. That is especially true at this time of year when our homes are filled with tempting and expensive gifts.
Home security tips from the household insurance experts
Household insurance experts at Adrian Flux have compiled 16 simple and affordable tips to help protect your home from domestic burglary this holiday season.
- Consider installing a motion detection alarm, security lighting and security cameras, independent wall mounted cameras or doorbell cameras, at your home.
- Upgrade door and window locks and make sure you use them. New locks may even pay for themselves because they could earn you a discount on your household insurance.
- Don’t advertise the fact you have bought a new TV, laptops or other expensive electronic equipment to potential burglars by leaving the boxes outside in clear view. Break the boxes up and leave them out of sight in a recycling container. Better still, take them to the council recycling centre.
- Overgrown bushes, shrubs and trees outside your house can provide someone with the cover they need for a domestic burglary. Make sure you trim overgrown vegetation so that doors, windows and porches are clearly visible to neighbours and passers-by.
- Make sure all your valuables, not just your precious Christmas presents, are out of sight.
- Consider getting a gravel driveway. It’s difficult to walk on gravel silently and that might just be enough to deter a would-be burglar.
- If you’re going away, arrange with a neighbour to check your property, remove any post, open and close curtains and switch on lights. Cancel newspapers and consider fitting timers on indoor lights, radios and televisions.
- Spare keys hidden under doormats, plant pots or inside fake rocks can be found in seconds – so don’t hide emergency keys outside the home, leave them with a trusted neighbour or friend.
- Buy a dog, or pretend you have one – a dog won’t stop every domestic burglary, but it may be a deterrent. Even if you don’t have a dog, consider putting up a “Beware of the dog” sign to fool thieves.
- Don’t leave your car keys hanging by the front door or in another obvious place. If you do it will provide an easy getaway for a burglar and your precious belongings.
- Don’t leave important papers and documents – such as passports and bank details – where they can be easily found. File them away under lock and key. If you don’t, the domestic burglary may end up with bank accounts being drained and personality theft.
- Find a good hiding place for your laptop, somewhere unexpected but easily accessible to you.
- Marking your postcode onto valuables will make them much easier to find by police, should they be stolen in a domestic burglary. Companies such as Selectamark specialise in permanent marking systems. Alternatively, simple UV marking pens can be purchased for a few pence from Crime Prevention Products.
- Keep a full manifest of all your valuables, with receipts and photographs if possible. This will make it so much easier to claim for them if the worst comes to the worst.
- Keep suitcases and large bags in the loft or a cellar with handles tied together so thieves can’t use them for convenience to escape with your property after a domestic burglary.
- It has been a very worrying year but you can give yourself true peace of mind this Christmas by making sure you have the right level of insurance in place to cover you against domestic burglary. Adrian Flux is one of the leading specialist home insurance brokers in the UK. Our best deals are usually available over the phone so call 0808 167 6729 today.