This year a lot of Londoners are hoping to celebrate a lockdown-free holiday season – or at least one with less strict pandemic measures. For many of us, this means going out of town or visiting family and friends on Christmas eve. As break-ins and burglaries during the holidays in London alone increase by 25%, keeping our home safe is a genuine concern for many people. That is why Handyman Near Me’s certified locksmiths have put together 9 safety tips on protecting your property against theft this Christmas.

Stay Protected Against Porch Piracy

Online shopping’s popularity has increased over the last few years, especially since the pandemic started as many of us try to minimise face-to-face interactions. Christmas discounts and free shipping are also alluring reasons to shop for presents online. Unfortunately, this created the phenomenon of porch piracy basically the stealing of packages delivered to a customer’s door. Luckily, there are some ways to avoid parcels theft:

  • Install security devices like video doorbells, smart porch lights, or a CCTV system.
  • If you expect lots of packages this Christmas, then you might want to consider sending them to your workplace, instead of at home.
  • Another solution is investing in a lock-box for your parcels.

Check also: 5 Quick Safety Inspections You Can Do By Yourself

Unfortunately. those beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree are alluring not only for your kids.

Hide the Presents – and the Tree!

A tree decorated with bright lights and expensive details can really create a festive spirit at home, but it also attracts unwanted attention. The same applies to wrapped presents placed on full display. Lavish decorations and attractive packages can tempt opportunistic thieves. Keeping the gifts hidden and the tree far from the window and out of sight is a smart way to prevent break-ins this Christmas.

Read also:  10 Ways to Increase Home Security While on Summer Vacation – Part 1

Stuff Your Recycle Bin Full

People tend to leave large boxes left from electronics and gifts next to their bins. However, packages of expensive purchases give thieves a clear signal there’s definitely something worth stealing inside the property. So, it’s wise to tear any large boxes into small pieces and make sure they fit in your bin.

Check also: 10 Ways to Increase Home Security While on Summer Vacation – Part 2

Keep Your Holiday Plans Private

You can never be sure who’s following your social media accounts. Although every website has some sort of privacy settings, the security breaches can come from friends and relatives innocently sharing your post. So, it is wise to avoid giving too many personal details all along. Don’t post about your plans on going away, and don’t upload pictures of expensive gifts. This type of information can turn you into a target for a burglary. If you want to share a photo with your family, at least do it a few days after the holiday.

Installing a camera around all entry points helps deter people with il intensions.

Install a Home Security System

The security system for your home doesn’t have to be super complicated or expensive to serve its purpose. Even a single CCTV camera mounted at the main entrance can make a world of difference to the safety of your home. The CCTV system is the best anti-theft solution because it allows you to monitor your property throughout the day. A strategically placed camera significantly reduces the chances of burglary. Various researches have proven that the visible presence of a home security system can effectively deter unwanted visitors. So, if you haven’t installed one already, you can turn to your local locksmith – most of them are certified to fit various security systems and alarms.

Read also: What Can a Locksmith Do For You?

Document Your New Purchases

Sadly, break-ins can’t always be prevented. That is why, if you have bought presents or home gadgets on the expensive side, consider taking some pics. Add the photos and receipts to a file and keep them away along with other documents. CCTV footage and documentation can help both the police and insurers if something goes missing.

Secure All Points of Entrance

In winter, we usually hurry to get inside warm and overlook the condition of side gates, garden porches, windows and garage doors. That is why, a thief will never go for the front door before trying another, more inconspicuous entry point. Unfortunately, holiday break-ins often occur even when the owner’s at home, so it’s worth making sure there are no weak spots at your property. Check if all locks work properly and call a locksmith if they need repair. Also, winds and storms can loosen gates and fences, so make sure to check these entryways as well.

Check also: 10 + Reasons Why You Should Change The Locks Immediately Part 1

Be careful when posting online and make sure to mimic some activity when you are leaving town for the holidays.

Make Your Home Look Lively

Even if you are at home, it’s wise to make sure your present is clear, as more than 50% of the burglaries last December occurred with the resident at home. So, it’s worth opening the curtains every morning and closing them at night to manifest you are at home. Making your home look busy is especially important if you plan to visit friends or relatives for an evening or two.

There are many ways to keep your home looking alive when you’re away, including:

  • Use timed lamps – you can program them to turn on and off for desired durations of time.
  • Don’t turn the hallway light off – most of us leave the lights on all the time during darker winter days, so don’t turn off the switch when you leave the house.
  • Leave your vehicle in the driveway – ditch the car and use public transportation when going away this Christmas.

Read also: 10 + Reasons Why You Should Change The Locks Immediately Part 2

Team Up With Your Neighbours

Getting close with your neighbours makes the whole community a safer place, not just your home. People who know each other take care of one another. If you are on good terms with your neighbours, you can ask them for some help while away, and of course – return the favour. The holidays are a perfect excuse to befriend your immediate neighbours if you haven’t done it yet – just bring some treats and introduce yourself.

If you aren’t home for a while, you can ask your neighbours to:

  • Collect your post, so no paper piles give you away.
  • Move your bins on the driveway to imitate daily activity.
  • Keep an eye for suspicious activity at your property.