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Christmas Time: How to Keep Your Home Safe

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Tips for making sure your home is safe and secure throughout the festive season.

An increase in thefts is to be expected throughout the Christmas period, with the dark afternoons, longer evenings and prospect of homes full of gifts providing the perfect chance for opportunist thieves.

In fact, a 2015 Aviva survey revealed that, on New Year’s Eve, household theft claims increase by 8%, with electronics being the most stolen items – iPhones, laptops and tablets are at the top of thieves’ wish lists.

Here’s how to keep your home safe this Christmas season.

Home alone

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, with parties and events, shopping trips and visits to family and friends. The downside of this is that homes can be left unattended for long spells.

An empty home at Christmas means an easy target for burglars. Never leave your Christmas tree in full view, and try to keep all your presents out of sight until as close to Christmas as possible. Once the day is over, ensure you dispose of all wrapping paper and packaging carefully – don’t advertise the fact you have lots of new and expensive gifts.

Social media

Avoid publicising your travel plans over the Christmas period, especially if you are going away overnight or for longer. Most people have set their social media profiles as public, so be mindful about what you post and when, as you never know who could be looking at your feed.

Christmas lighting

Burglaries are not the only festive danger: Christmas time means lots of decorations and fairly lights, and this can also mean extra fire hazards. Make sure when you are buying lighting that it carries the British Standards safety sign.

Make sure to turn off all lights when you are out of the house or when you go to bed, and be careful not to overload plug sockets with too many lights and electrical appliances as this can be a fire hazard.

Neighbours

A simple way to ensure peace of mind over the Christmas period, especially if you’re going away, is to ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your home while you’re away.

Give them a key so that they can pick up any post, water the plants or feed the cat!

Make sure you’re covered

December is a good time of the year to check that you’re fully covered by your home insurance policy.

Find out what level of cover it offers, particularly for incidences of theft or fire damage. Make yourself familiar with any exclusions, too.

For example, your policy could be void if you cause accidental damage in your home under the influence of alcohol. 

Image: Deb