The burglary statistics within the UK have reached a new high, amounting to more than 267,000 burglaries in 2021 alone, averaging a burglary occurrence every 106 seconds, and an average stolen value of £2,856. The figures began to rise since the pandemic, as people began to invest more into their properties and home entertainment, with an average annual increase predicted to be 24%.
This becomes worse during the Christmas period, as people begin to fill their houses with presents, providing burglars with even more incentive. There has been an average 11% spike in burglaries during the last 3 months of the year over the last decade, with 84% of these cases going unsolved. With this in mind, we have created this blog in order to inform you on the best practices for preventing house burglary during Christmas time, so that you may have better peace of mind regarding the security and safety of yourselves and your family.
Best Ways to Protect Your Property over Christmas:
1. Check your doors, windows, and locks
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that doors, windows, and online data are the top three ways burglars gain access to private properties. With this in mind, it’s integral that these entry points are bolstered, and don’t have any weak points. Double-locking doors, replacing the faulty locks on windows, and making sure you don’t hide a spare key in obvious spots are some of the best ways of solving this. Take it a step further, and install a burglar alarm system that connects to both your doors and your windows – that way, even if you’re not home, you have a monitored system that can alert you and the police of any intrusion.
Ajax Alarm systems are some of the most highly revered smart home security systems available on the market right now, with instant mobile notifications, externally operated motion cameras, and systems that can monitor both your electricity and water levels all in one.
2. Don’t advertise gifts on social media
In the modern era, it can be tempting to show friends, family and followers the amazing things that you received over Christmas. However, unassumingly, many burglars are now aware of this, and turn to social media as a means of scouting for potential targets. You posting your property and your new valuable items simply serve as an advertisement for the value that a burglar may have access to, and the routes in which they can take to obtain it. Setting your accounts to private are the best means of preventing exploitation.
3. Install CCTV, motion sensors, or visible deterrents
According to one study, all crimes are reduced by a minimum of 13% in places with CCTV, when compared to places without it. Burglars suggest that CCTV serves as an incredible deterrent, as those with it have more opportunity of identifying the intruder. If nothing else, homeowners can use the footage that they capture using CCTV as evidence when trying to claim the stolen value back on insurance. Finally, CCTVs are beneficial for homeowners, as they provide peace of mind when a homeowner is absent from their property, as most smart home security systems can be operated remotely, with users getting notified if a person is spotted.
4. Review your current home insurance
If you are certain that you will be buying and storing valuable gifts ahead of Christmas, then why risk your things to get stolen? The statistics suggest that the Christmas period is one of the most volatile for instances of burglary.
Countrywide instead suggests practicing proactive preparation, such as opting for insurance. In doing so, you are able to claim all of the damages you may have otherwise lost in the worst-case scenario. The small cost of insurance far outweighs the possible loss of £2,856 or more. Make sure that you check the terms and conditions for what is covered under your insurance though, as some do not claim liability within their terms and conditions.
5. Dispose of Christmas wrapping and packaging
Much like advertising your gifts on social media, opportunists will also take visual cues from both in and around your property. Be careful of Christmas wrapping, as this is one of the most obvious hints at the value in your house. This includes the paper, and any boxes that may be revealing expensive products such as electricals and big TVs. We suggest that it is best to instead break up your packaging, and to put it inside your recycling bin, out of sight. You should also avoid leaving presents in the car, and in plain sight, such as under the tree in your front room.
Home Security Solutions with Countrywide UK
If you are looking to improve the safety and security of your property this Christmas, then Countrywide have you covered. From concept, to installation, to maintenance services, we are the leaders of smart alarm systems and offer premium CCTV installation services for both commercial and residential properties. Countrywide is a family business that always seeks to provide a personalised service, high level of consumer care and high quality products – all at a reasonable price.
Partner with someone you can trust. We are SSAIB, Checkatrade and police approved, providing thousands of successful and reliable security systems. If you would like to learn more about how we can provide you or your family with leading home security solutions, like the revolutionary Ajax wireless alarm system, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our team would love to hear from you and would be more than happy to help.