Experts reveal top tips on keeping your home safe after Christmas

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Experts reveal top tips on keeping your home safe after Christmas.

Jack Grealish has recently become a victim of robbery where thieves stole £1 million worth of watches and jewellery just days after Christmas. It goes to show no matter how well-protected you think your house is, there is always a chance you could be subjected to burglary, too.

With many Brits enjoying their new gifts and gadgets from Christmas, ensuring they remain safe in your home is important. Christmas time is always a peak time for burglaries due to the rise in absent houses, but it doesn’t mean your house is completely safe after the festive season surpasses; there will always be occasions when nobody is in your house, leaving your possessions vulnerable. Burglary and break-ins are always possible, especially with people returning to work.

However, experts at Howden Insurance have revealed their top tips on keeping your house safe to reduce the risks of being faced with house damage, stolen items, and loss of personal property upon returning to day-to-day life.

Make sure to set your alarms 

It may seem like the most obvious way to warn off burglars is by simply locking your doors to keep them out, but it can be easily forgotten if you are in a rush to leave the house – and even when your doors are locked, it does not guarantee that burglars won’t find another way in. Make sure your alarms are set any time the house is vacant to ensure any unwanted visitors will be caught almost immediately.

Don’t forget, it is still possible to get robbed in broad daylight. Burglars may gain a rough idea of when you will or won’t be in the house, so the likelihood of being robbed in the day can just be as likely as being robbed at night. 

Use smart plugs for lights

Not everyone has sophisticated lights that dim or are on a timer in their homes, but there is no need to run up a huge electricity bill or break the bank by leaving them on all day. Consider purchasing a few affordable smart plugs for lamps around the house, particularly in rooms that will be visible to passers-by. This way, you can turn lights on and off when you like and needn’t worry about leaving lights switched on for hours on end throughout the day and night. As a result, the house will seem as though it still has occupants inside and the property is not empty. 

Be mindful of social media

It is very easy to forget that it is not always just your friends who can view your profiles on certain social media platforms. As much as everyone likes to show off their new gifts, it may make your house a more attractive target and increase the chance of a break-in. TikTok hauls and Instagram posts from over the festive period are entertaining and popular to watch, but they can easily be acknowledged by the wrong people.

To avoid this, make sure that photos of luxury items or planned trips are only visible to your friends, and turn any accounts private to ensure that only people you trust know your true location. Going back to work can almost guarantee a time of absence from your home, and depending on how much you share on social media, any indication of your profession or whereabouts can be suggestive as to when you are most likely to be away from home.

Let your neighbours and landlord know if you are planning on going away

Many people will be treated to upcoming holidays and weekend escapes as their Christmas gifts. It is particularly important to let the people around you know if you will be absent for a short while, regardless of whether this is straight after Christmas or later on in the year. If neighbours are aware that you’re gone and hear noise coming from around your house, they would know to treat it as suspicious activity and take further action if needed. 

If you are a renter, letting the landlord know you aren’t going to be home would be beneficial for their peace of mind as well as yours. They may even visit the property to make small changes, such as giving the curtains and blinds an adjustment so that it looks like someone is home.

Imply security is in place

While your house may not be fitted with CCTV due to its costs, burglars aren’t necessarily aware of this. It may be worth investing in some signs to put in your window or by the front door with ‘CCTV in operation’, or any sign to imply that the house is under surveillance. It is a simple but effective way to warn off burglars, and it won’t be as pricey as genuine surveillance appliances; thus, it is a simple yet effective way to help keep your house safe and secure whilst you are away from your home.

However, a doorbell that features a camera, such as Ring, may be a worthy investment so that anyone approaching your house can be viewed on your phone, no matter your location; prices can vary from £50 to £300 on websites like Amazon, depending on the brand you select.

A spokesperson from Howden Insurance has commented on these findings: “The period after Christmas should consist of preparing yourself to return to work and enjoying time with family and friends. Although, there is always a concern that intruders could reap the benefits of an empty house filled with lots of expensive gifts, so it is important to be vigilant at this time when concerning the safety of your home. Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to reduce any worries about your home and make the transition back into work less stressful.”

“Taking these proper precautions before leaving your house for any reason will put your mind at ease and reduce the chances of a burglary. All techniques are affordable, practical, and a great way to protect your home.”

This research was carried out by Howden Insurance, the fifth-largest employee-owned business in the UK and one of the largest insurance groups in the world.

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