Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for burglars. As an Edinburgh locksmith I am often called during the festive period to come and change the locks or make secure, the homes of people who have been broken into. There is never a good time to be burgled but when it happens during the Christmas period it can be particularly distressing and costly for families. According to Confused.com, the 10 most commonly stolen items (see below) are all things that are often bought around Christmas time.
To avoid this happening to you, here are my top tips to keep your home secure this Christmas:
- Most burglars enter homes through poorly secured ground floor doors, so make sure your locks are up to the job. Read our recent post for more information on how to check this
- It is tempting to place beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, ready for Christmas but this is definitely one to avoid if you are on the ground floor and your tree can be seen from the street. Prevent an opportunist burglar from ruining Christmas by keeping presents out of sight and away from a window
- Invest in some good exterior lighting and keep hedges and large plants trimmed back. This will make it more difficult for potential intruders to attempt to access your property without being seen
- Make sure that all your windows and doors are kept locked at all times and ensure that any ground floor windows have key operated locks. In addition never leave keys in the backs of doors and always store keys out of sight – some burglars have been using makeshift fishing rods placed through the letterbox to successfully fish for keys, including car keys.
- Never leave a spare key under a plant pot or pebble at the front of your house. If you or one of your family are in the habit of losing or forgetting keys then either leave an emergency spare key with a trusted neighbour or invest in a good quality key safe
- Resist the urge to share information about expensive gifts you have purchased or plans you have for Christmas on social media. Some insurance companies may refuse to pay out following a break-in if they can prove a homeowner was not careful enough and advertised their new possessions or upcoming trips online
- Burglars love an empty property, so if you are away over the Christmas period ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home e.g. collect the mail and clear any snow from the path etc. it is also worth investing in some timers so that you can set lights and TV/radio to switch on and off at different times during the day.
- Join or start a neighbourhood watch scheme. Evidence suggests that they can reduce crime by increasing the general surveillance in an area.
Hero Locksmith would like to wish all our customers a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year. However if you are unfortunate and need our locksmith services during this time, we are still available 24 hours 7 days a week. Please do not hesitate to get in touch or give us a call on 0131 603 7329.