Security Tips – How to Prevent Burglary at Christmas
Christmas is fast approaching and this year people seem particularly eager to get the festivities started and ring in a new year! Decorations are being put up, advent windows are popping up and people keen to make the best of the Christmas period. As always it is important to remember the importance of Christmas home security.
Burglary in London at Christmas
The winter months and Christmas are prime work time for intruders. We operate a 24 hour emergency locksmith service even at Christmas.
According to Met Police data London burglary rates increase by 26% from November to January. The article also shows how much burglary rates increase per London Borough with Enfield and Harrow being particularly high and Barnet and Brent following close behind.
Another article claims that a Londoner is burgled every 10 minutes over the main Christmas period.
Why Burglary Increases Over Christmas
Christmas is a time when we need to become especially vigilant because burglars are particularly active. However it is also a time when many people become less vigilant due to the unpredictability and busy nature of the Christmas season.
Why Do Intruders Like Christmas?
- High value easy to sell items are readily available
- Many properties are empty for the festive season
- Its dark so intruders can work unnoticed
- People can become less vigilant with so many distractions
This is probably the one time of year when collectively we are at our most generous and most likely to treat others, or ourselves, to high value goods.
Many people choose to spend Christmas with relatives and stay away from home. Empty properties offer a tempting window of opportunity for the festive intruder!
Parties and alcohol consumption tends to increase at this time of year which can cause people to let their guard down.
Local Crime Rates for Your Area
Home security in the UK should become a priority for all home owners with burglary rates at this time of year reaching higher levels.
It is important to recognise that burglary prevention becomes even more significant at Christmas.
How to Effectively Secure Your Home for Christmas
1) Physical Security Must Be Top Priority
The best way to prevent a break-in is to have effective physical home security measures in place that actually stop an intruder getting in! Arrange a free security survey by a reputable locksmith. You can read about how to choose a reliable locksmith here.
We provide professional lock fitting services in London. Did you know there are a number of ways you can improve your home security to ensure that you don’t become a target for intruders?
Home Security Measures to Consider
- The best locks for doors and windows – checking and upgrading to the most secure locks will make it more difficult for an intruder to gain access.
- Strengthen doors – there are a number of security accessories which can achieve this for higher security levels – for example a lock guard, Birmingham bars and London bars.
- Install door and window security grilles – this is the best way to prevent an intruder smashing the glass in a window or patio door.
- Install a home security safe – hiding valuables in a security safe will deter and prevent intruders from accessing your valuables.
- Don’t forget to address outdoor security. Side gate and garden gate locks can be instrumental in preventing a burglary.
A Ring Door Bell or an Alarm can be a deterrent but they won’t stop an intruder making their way into your home.
2) Use all Your Home Security Measures Properly
Don’t fall into the trap that so many people do by having the best locks but not actually locking them. You must use your door and windows locks to keep intruders out and to be covered by your home insurance policy. You can read our guide to insurance approved locks.
3) Hide Temptation
Hide any signs of valuables being in your house;
- No presents visible under the tree
- Don’t light up your home for all to see in
- Presents should be well hidden in non obvious places
- Be aware that intruders are known to check for packaging in bins
- Don’t keep jewellery in view of windows and in obvious places unsecured
4) Use Security Lights
Lights that come on automatically when movement is sensed in your garden are very helpful. They prevent intruders snooping around without being noticed.
Also lights on timers in your home when you are away can give the illusion that the house is not empty. Remember not to leave blinds and curtains open exposing the interior of your home.
5) A Security Alarm Can Deter Intruders
An alarm can deter intruders and when burgled it is often the first thing that home owners decide to invest in. However remember that even though an alarm can deter intruders and alert you of their presence it will not keep them out. Skilled burglaries can be carried out quickly and efficiently and the intruders can be in and out in minutes. Stopping intruders accessing your home must be the first port of call.
6) Rely on Reliable Mechanical Means of Burglary Prevention
In my experience simple mechanical means of security create a reliable physical barrier. I am not confident in recommending the latest technology when it comes to security. There are always people trying to find ways round security measures and technology can be breached in ways we can only imagine. This article questions the reliability of the Ring Door Bell. When is comes to security certainty is key.
For more detailed burglary prevention tips read our ultimate burglary prevention guide.
Calling an Emergency Locksmith at Christmas and New Year
You can read this post about what to do if you find yourself locked out on Christmas Day.
Last Christmas Eve we had a customer who was having problems finding an emergency locksmith in Enfield following a burglary. It can be difficult to find a locksmith round the Christmas period because they can get very busy and some are not offering a 24/7 Christmas service as we do at IKS Locksmiths. Hidden Christmas presents and presents from under the tree as well as jewellery was stolen. The customer was nervous about the intruders returning and has chosen to have window security grilles installed.
Choosing a Trustworthy Locksmith
Save the phone number of your local MLA Approved locksmith. This will help you to avoid choosing a potential rogue locksmith. Don’t choose what looks like the very cheap option, you could end up having a bad experience.
Read our Guide to How to Choose a Trustworthy, Local Locksmith. It will help you avoid the many pitfalls when choosing a locksmith.
How Much a Locksmith Costs at Christmas and New Year
You can expect a locksmith round the Christmas holidays to cost more, particularly on bank holidays, in the evenings and at night. It is advisable to choose an MLA approved locksmith to avoid those who are trying to take advantage. Read here to find out what you should expect to pay for a locksmith.
Do you need to secure your home for Christmas? IKS Locksmiths offer a free security survey. We welcome the opportunity to offer you home security advice and answer any questions you may have.
How can we help you?
For professional security advice and information call to speak directly to Martin our Master Locksmith and security specialist.
Main image courtesy of local Barnet artist Violina.