Christmas is the busiest time of year. Not just for shopping and holiday parties—but also for burglars. In London, the average home burglary rate rises 23% between November and January compared to the rest of the year. Here are some of our top tips for keeping safe your home and that pile of recently purchased Christmas gifts.
Tips for Deterring Thieves from Burgling your Home
There’s a reason that home burglary rates surge in the weeks before and after Christmas—it is the time of year when houses are full of brand-new electronics, toys, clothes, jewelry, gadgets, etc. It’s the best time of year for a burglar, really. Here are some easy, short-term fixes to help keep those precious gifts safe for your friends and family, and out of the hands of thieves.
Quick Fixes to Help Prevent Home Burglaries over the Holidays
- Lock your doors and windows every time you leave the house
- Leave lights on when you step out (possibly on a timer) to make it appear someone’s home
- Hide ladders and tools—don't leave them accessible to be used to break into your home
- Remove gifts from view of ground floor windows and doors
- Close curtains and blinds in the evening and when not at home during the day
- Don’t put out branded/informative boxes in the recycling the night before. Remove labels and/or put out in the morning.
If you have more time and money to invest in home security, the following tips will help maintain the security of your home all year long.
Long-term, Project-Based Solutions to Help Prevent Home Burglaries
- Install a visual burglar alarm
- Install light- and motion-sensor outside lighting
- Ensure that your fences are strong/in good repair
- Install locks on any side gates to prevent access to the rear of your home
- Join or form a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
To help alleviate the financial stress of having your gifts and personal possessions stolen, we recommend buying a contents insurance policy. Renters as a group are especially likely to NOT have contents insurance—it often doesn't occur to renters that they need contents insurance until after they or a friend has suffered loss, damage or theft of property in the home.
Contents insurance will reimburse (subject to any excess and policy limits) for the theft, damage and sometimes even loss of your things. Basic contents insurance policies with £50,000 limits are available from 20p a day—a small price to pay for protection worth potentially tens of thousands of pounds, should the worst happen. For more information see our article on the cost of contents insurance. If you're in the market for home insurance at a good price, please see our article on cheap home insurance companies.
Here you can see how burglary rates increase around the Christmas season in London. 'Tis the season to buy contents insurance!