Top 10 Home Security Tips for Christmas 2017
Christmas is a busy time of year for locksmiths, homeowners, businesses… and crooks. Whether you are travelling for the holidays or staying at home, the Amalgamated Locksmiths blogging team have put together a list to help you keep your home protected against predators this holiday season.
1. Keep Your Christmas Tree Away from the Window
We’ve written recently about how important it is not to advertise your property. Bikes left in the front yard are easy pickings, and laptops left in view of the front window are 100% burglar bait. Well, it’s the same over Christmas. A large tree, full of expensive ornaments and beautifully wrapped presents in view of the street is a beacon for all would-be thieves. Try instead a different location for your Christmas Tree this year, away from the street’s prying eyes.
2. Have Your Christmas Tree and Lights run on Timers
A number of our domestic locksmith clients think that timers are only for those going on holiday. In fact, they are an important bit of your home security year round. The easiest way to tell if someone is home is if their lights are on. At Christmas, this is easier still, because half of their house is covered in lights! If you are not going to be home until dark, it’s a good idea to set your timer for your Christmas or house lights to come on when you are away. This will make it harder for burglars to establish your schedule, or to know when you are at home or out celebrating.
Presents attract burglars. Remember our security tips for renters, in which we advised not to advertise. A tree surrounded by presents in view of the front window lets everyone know that you have gifts to steal. Similarly, be careful with how you get rid of packaging — not least because the kids might see their presents!
3. Don’t Leave Packaging by the Bins
Leaving packaging by the bins before or after Christmas is risky — burglars know you will have been buying presents and look out for the packaging of high-ticket items left on the street. Leaving TV, computer or valuables’ packaging by the bin, or putting the recycling out a few days before Bin Day, is another way you may be advertising the contents of your home to potential thieves. Tear up the packaging and leave your bins in the street for as short an amount of time as possible — a bin left on the street for days at a time is a sign that you’re not at home.
4. Make sure you have secure, strong locks on all doors and windows
If Santa uses the chimney, make sure that’s because it’s the only way in. Loose locks, missing latches and unsecured windows make for easy access. Check you have high-quality locks on all your entrance ways, including windows and fences.
5. Don’t Neglect Your Gate, Shed or Garage
When checking the locks on your doors and windows, don’t forget to run an eye over your gate, garage or shed. Garages and sheds are seldom empty, often containing equipment like whipper snippers or tools that not only are expensive but may also be used to help people damage or break into your home.
6. If Displaying Christmas Lights, Don’t Run Them Through a Window
If you are putting up Christmas lights this year, be careful not to run the cord through an unsecured open window or door. Like breadcrumbs, burglars know to follow these power cords to a weak spot in your home security, either an open window or fuse box (a common spare key hiding place). Every house is different, so investigate the best (and safest) way to power your Christmas lights this year. Run the lights through a fence first, latched and padlocked of course, or use an external power point.
7. Home Security Starts From the Yard
Christmas lights go some way in lighting up your property, but they are not a replacement for motion sensors or security lights, at least not yet. Motion sensor lights make it harder for trespassers to hide on your property. The higher the chance of their being caught, the less likely a burglar is to spend a long time trying to break in. Our residential locksmiths sell and install perimeter security solutions including motion sensors, so contact us today to keep your Yuletide safe.
8. Make the home look lived in
Making your home looked lived in is just as important when you are out for an evening as when you are away for a week. Empty houses are a burglar’s playthings. Check your letterbox regularly. Take your bins in. If you go out, leave some lights on, and if you’re away for a while, use a timer. If you have a lawn and are away for a while, arrange to have it mown.
Some people choose to keep their homes occupied by having a friend housesit. They can take the bins in and out, collect your mail, and feed your cat. Alternatively, ask your neighbours to keep an eye out while you are away. A recent survey has shown that most neighbours are happy to help out with these tasks when you’re away, so talk to yours today.
9. Help Out Your Neighbours
Find out if your neighbours are going away and offer to help them out. Offer to take in their bins, water their plants or feed their cat. If they are going away, keeping an eye over their property reduces the chances of it being burgled, broken into or damaged. An empty property is a great base for criminals to hide out while scoping your home, and may provide them with off-street access to your property. Not only is knowing your neighbours a Noel-tide nicety, it can also help strengthen both homes’ security
10. If Having Any Work Done Around the Home, Ask for ID
It is no crime to ask for ID. In fact, our residential, automotive and commercial locksmiths recommend it. Our Suburbs in Focus series has revealed that Fraud is a common crime in some of our most frequented areas, so make sure you know who is working on your property. All of our mobile locksmiths carry with them their locksmith ID and Victoria Police Security Registration and will be happy to show you if asked.
So there you have it, those are Amalgamated Locksmiths’ Top 10 Home Security Tips for Christmas 2017. For all your residential security needs, including 24 hour emergency locksmith services, contact us today. Amalgamated Locksmiths are home security experts, with over 33 years’ experience in the installation, design and servicing of domestic security.