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Xmas Security From A Barnsley Locksmith

11th December 2021

Hey hey. Or should it be Ho Ho? Yep, it appears to be dangerously close to Christmas which seems to have come around insanely quickly this year. And whilst, like a Downing Street party, we may not be entirely sure how, or indeed, if it’s happened, there’s not a lot we can do about it apart from accept it and quietly plot revolution over the turkey and cranberry sauce. 

Whatever Christmas means to you, I hope you have a great one, and can take a few days breather after a frankly exhausting year. And whilst I don’t want to be the harbinger of doom in this festive period, I do want to give a seasonal warning about home security so that your festivities aren’t marred by being the victim of a break in. 

Sadly, home insurance claims for burglary jump every Christmas time by as much as 25%. The reasons for this become clear when you think about it – households who have been able to save up for Christmas will have supplies in, and there may be pricey gifts ready to give out on the day. Not only this, but many houses will be left empty, as householders visit families, get away for a winter break, or go out in the evening for Christmas parties… if anyone would have such a thing (“Good evening, Prime Minister,” as Ant and Dec would say)

So there is added opportunity as well as potential extra bounty available for a Christmas burglar. But all is not lost – I’ll give you a few tips on how you can best reduce the risk of any uninvited guest making their way into your house… with the obviously exception of Santa Claus.

Top tips to secure your home during the Christmas period

Tip one is think about where you are stashing any presents. Are they on display through a window? It’s not a nice thought, but a burglar looking in a window at a Christmas tree with several wrapped presents underneath won’t show sentimentality. All they’ll see is the potential of there being valuable items inside. Be careful about where you leave the presents, whether at home or in a car – use the boot in the latter if you must keep any there. Sheds and garages can also be less than secure – it’s understandable people keep presents in these places to keep them away from the prying eyes of the kids, but outbuildings are generally easier targets than houses. Storing them in attics or stashed away in a cupboard is a much better idea. 

My next tip is about exterior Christmas lights. Yes, it’s lovely to see them brightening up the landscape in the dark evenings, but from where are they getting their power supply? If the flex goes through a window, this means the window will have to be slightly ajar. Regardless of any heating issues this may cause, it also means the window could be an easy access point for a burglar. Think carefully about doing this and ideally use an exterior socket if you have one, making sure that it is suitable for outside use and properly waterproof. 

With Covid still around and new restrictions in place, it makes it more likely that Christmas shopping is going to take place online this year. But what if you’ve ordered something and are then going to be out on the day of delivery? Don’t leave a note on the door saying no-one is in and giving instructions where to leave it – the couriers are not the only people who will see these notes. Most companies allow you to redirect a delivery online and this is always the better option. 

Maybe you’ve got your passports (of the ordinary and the vaccine variety), you’ve taken a PCR test, and are lucky enough to be going away for Christmas. In this case, keep this information to as few as people as possible. Utilise timers to turn lights on and off whilst you’re away. Get a trusted friend or neighbour to have a key and go in to pick up post from the doormat whilst you’re away. Offer them your driveway whilst you’re at it – everyone’s a winner in this situation – they get a parking space, and you give the impression that someone is at home, reducing the risk of a break-in 

Fast forward to Boxing Day after everyone’s been thrilled/disappointed with their presents. You’ll likely be left with a lot of packaging. Again, take a moment to think about how you dispose of this. If you leave a Playstation 5 and HDTV box out with the recycling it’s sort of a giveaway you may have new items inside, proving a temptation to the post-Christmas burglar. Instead, either break down your packaging ensuring it remains in the bin under the lid, or take a trip to the tip. Nothing epitomises the perineum period between Christmas and New year like a journey to the Household Waste Recycling Centre. Fun for all the family. 

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Well, that’s that – my Christmas blog done so now the celebrations can really begin! Hope I’ve not been a party pooper – it’s just about reducing the risk of being a target for crime.  Reassuringly the vast majority of you will have no break-ins this Christmas period and the only major incidents will occur when family members have a bit too much to drink and start arguing about politics over the mince pies. But hey, even that’s preferable to the Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas special, right? 

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2022, whatever it brings in this strange old world. For advice on anything lock-related, or to enquire about repairs or replacements, call 07990573857 for a Barnsley locksmith. 

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