Christmas is a time for giving and receiving but the last thing you want is for a burglar to be the recipient of your gifts. We have some tips to prevent you ending up with unwanted visitors and to protect the items you've spent so long choosing.
Is your general home security up to scratch?
- Mortice deadlocks (where the body of the lock is embedded in the door and frame) are much more secure than a cylinder (Yale-type) lock which can potentially be slipped or picked.
- Locks should be in place and used on all accessible windows, i.e. those which can be reached from the ground without the aid of a ladder, and any patio doors should have bolts as well as any key locks to make them harder to force open.
- Also, don't undo all your good work of locking up by leaving a spare key on a string inside the door or under a plant pot; burglars know all the usual hiding places and will go straight to them.
- If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it's set whenever you are out overnight. If it's under contract, check that it's been inspected and in good working order.
- Garages and sheds are very popular with thieves; they often don't have as good security as your house. They usually contain portable and valuable items such as bikes, lawnmowers as well as ladders that a burglar can take to access the main home. Padlock individual items and lock up the garage/shed at all times.
Don't forget the outside of the house too!
- Outdoor Christmas lights are actually a good deterrent to thieves as they make the house more prominent and visible, but don't feed extension cables through partially open windows.
- Opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.
- Garden security is worth checking over too.
- Christmas presents under the tree look very festive but also advertise what goodies may be waiting for a burglar, so don't have the tree in full view of the window.
- If you're expecting deliveries ensure the company leave it with a neighbour if you aren't in rather than hiding it by a bin – thieves will look there.
- Also, once the big day is over, leave putting the wrapping and boxes out for the recycling until the last minute - an X-Box box or bag from the Apple Store will show that there is some nice new gadget in the house!
And if you are unlucky and need to claim for stolen items, it really helps our Claims team if you keep the receipts, separately from the presents if you haven't wrapped them yet. Not only do these show you owned them, but it helps us source the most appropriate replacements for you.
And at Select we recognise that you'll have extra in your house during December so we automatically increase your home contents cover by 10% for free.
For home contents insurance quotation, please call 0800 980 2701