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November 2010 – Beat the burglar

Keeping your home safe this Christmas

The festive Period is a key time for burglars to operate, meaning that your home could be at risk. Not only do thieves know that the perspective plunder will be brand new and still in the box, but it is generally handily located in one place.

In addition homes are often left empty in the whirlwind of shopping trips, social events, family visits and holidays presenting an ideal opportunity for burglars. Unfortunately the risk of burglary doesn’t end there, with figures reaching a peak on New Year’s Eve.

Thames Valley Police advise “Using a burglar alarm is common sense, and many burglars will avoid breaking into a property with a visible alarm.”

Read on for more information on how to protect your home this Christmas

  • Ensure all windows and doors are securely locked and keys have been removed to prevent a thief smashing the glass and obtaining the keys (ensure you know where they are in the event of an emergency).
  • Don’t leave spare keys in obvious places – burglars know where to look. Ask a relative, friend or neighbour to look after your spare keys.
  • Use internal low wattage lights on a timer that come on and off at different times in your absence.
  • Ensure your garden shed is secure and can’t be accessed to provide tools to get into your house.
  • Invest in bright sensor floodlights at the front and back of your home. These will automatically come on if they detect movement.
  • Have an alarm fitted correctly by an electrical engineer. An alarm which is not fitted properly may compromise the security of your home.

Going on holiday? Read on for some top tips for holiday makers in the festive season;

  • Make your home look occupied when you’re out. Set the lighting timers to come on when it gets dark.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to close your curtains for you in the evenings.
  • Leave a car parked on your driveway.
  • Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries.
  • Don’t discuss holiday dates with people that you don’t know.
  • Find out about the Royal Mail ‘Keepsafe’ service (opens new window).
  • Leave important documents and valuable personal items with family members or a bank.
  • Check that you’ve locked all outside windows and doors.
  • Set your burglar alarm!

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