With just a couple of weeks to Christmas, you’ve probably bought all of your presents and you’ve maybe even wrapped them, all ready for 25th December.
But you could be putting yourself at risk from opportune criminals who may be looking to do their own Christmas shopping – in your home.
New research shows that December is the month when your home is most likely to get broken into because of the expensive items you’re likely to be keeping in the property. With your Christmas presents carefully placed under the tree and your home left empty more often, it means that it’s the perfect time for burglars looking to pick up a festive treat.
In 2014, the day when people were most likely to get their homes burgled was 5th December, with an increase of 41 per cent in people claiming for break-ins on this day compared to the average for the rest of the year. Early to mid-December generally seemed to be a time when thefts were more common, with claims up 28 per cent on the 11th and 18th, as well as a 14 per cent increase on the 6th December.
This is likely to be due to an increased number of high-value items you could be storing in your house, as you’ll probably still be keeping all the Christmas presents for your family and friends at this time. It’s also the time when you could be out of the house in the evenings more often as well, as Christmas parties and work socialising events mean your property is left empty.
Protecting your home
If you’ve bought expensive presents for your kids – such as bikes or iPads – you might be tempted to store these in your garage, so that they’re not uncovered before the big day. However, this could leave your presents exposed to thieves, as it’s likely that your garage will be easier to break into than your home. It also means you might not even hear the burglars when they pay you a visit, especially if your garage is separate from the main property. Store all presents in the home instead in a safe place, such as a cupboard or somewhere else out of sight.
Check your home insurance policy details, as your cover could be increased automatically over the festive period. Most home insurers will increase the total amount you’ll be covered for by 10% but the length of time this applies can vary, so it’s worth making sure.
If you’re a student, it’s also important to make sure that your university accommodation stays safe while you’re home for the holidays. We’ve put together a handy infographic to help you do this – you can check it out here.