The festive season is not only a wonderful time of the year, but an exceptionally prosperous time for burglars. With expensive gifts wrapped and on display, and many homeowners out visiting family or doing some last minute shopping, homes are a potential treasure trove for thieves.
Every year, increasing numbers of homes across the country are broken into and precious valuables, including gifts and electricals, are stolen.
Now, you don’t need to be quite as extreme as Kevin McAllister in Home Alone, setting up booby traps for burglars, but there are a number of things you can do to protect your home from intruders and thieves. Our LV= Home Insurance
team has come up with some useful tips and advice on how to protect your home over the holidays.
1. Hide your presents
For burglars, chancing upon a home that has a haul of presents in plain sight through the window is an invitation for them to burgle you. Spoil their plans by keeping your gifts out of view.
2. Keep up appearances
If you’re not going to be at home for a while, set up light timers to switch on at times you'd usually be in. You can do the same for radios and TVs, so it looks like someone’s regularly at home. You may not need to go as far as setting up moving figures in the windows using cardboard cut-outs à la Home Alone, but it could be fun!
3. Be discreet online
Keep your plans discreet – don’t tell everyone on Facebook and Twitter that you’re about to leave the country for two weeks, or that your home will be empty until the New Year. You might be able to trust your friends, but who else is reading?
4. Secure-mark your belongings
Buy an ultraviolet marker pen to personalise all your belongings with your postcode and house number. Marking your belongings may put burglars off, as it makes items harder to sell. It can also help police investigate and prosecute criminals.
5. Don’t make it easy for them
If you’ve got a garage or shed in the garden, make sure it’s securely locked so that burglars can’t lay their hands on tools, ladders or other items that could help them break into your home. A sturdy padlock is an effective deterrent.
6. Invest in security features
From CCTV cameras to motion detectors and automatic lights, there are hundreds of security gadgets out there that will give would-be burglars the impression that your home really is your castle.
7. Carry out checks
Ask friends, family members, neighbours – even the scary man who loves to shovel snow next door - to check on your house every now and again. This way, they can collect junk mail and if they pick up on any suspicious behaviour, they can report it. Visitors will also help add to the pretence that someone is home.
A lot of these tips are common sense and will hopefully keep the burglars away from the door.
But should the worst happen this winter, you’ll want the comfort of knowing your home and belongings are properly covered.
To give our customers additional peace of mind, we increase the contents limit of cover by 10% for one month before and after a religious festival or special event, for purchases made for these occasions, if within the period of insurance. That way, if a burglar does get the better of you, at least you can rely on your insurer to help put things right.