Well the festive season is upon us and we are all scraping together the last of the cash to get presents for loved ones. Your cupboards are probably already bulging with gifts of all shapes and sizes...and values!
The season of goodwill and merriment should be just that...sadly it is also a criminals opportunist time to get their hands on your newly purchased or opened gifts.
AGS have put together the following Top 10 Tips to have a Secure Christmas.
1. WATCH YOUR RUBBISH - Your bins will be bulging with wrapping paper, envelopes and food waste. But, think about what you leave laying around outside. Just bought your partner a new top of the range tablet or 50" Smart 3D TV? Don't leave the box outside - you are basically advertising what you have to an opportunist burglar!
2. ON YOUR BIKE - Just bought the kiddies a new bike? Did you know, each bike has a serial number/frame number unique to that bike? A good rule of thumb, register it on the Immobilise database, in case it is stolen. Why not visit the police for a postcode stamp too. Take the kids with you - this is a great lesson in security. If it is stolen or suspiciously identified on a patrol, the police could get it back to you!
3. LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE - Going away for Christmas? Is your home secure? Why not invest in a motion sensor flood light to secure your home. A great deterrent, no burglar wants to be in the spotlight! Also, timed lights within the home can give the illusion that people are moving around the house.
4. BE ALARMED - Have you ever considered a burglar alarm. Many people think this is a costly addition to their home...do your research. You will be surprised!
5. SHED LOAD OF LOCKS - When was the last time you checked the padlocks/locks/windows on your shed? A common mistake by many homes. You add additional, expensive items to your home but never assess the risk of where you are placing them!
6. GO GADGET, GO - New gadgets? Smartphone? Tablet? Have you got them insured? Through most mobile phone companies this will be available at a good rate. If not, there are plenty of gadget insurers who provide an excellent package at good rates.
7. 'INSURE' YOU ARE READY - You have a cupboard/shed/loft filled with hundreds of pounds of new items to give to the loved ones. When was the last time you checked your contents insurance? Do you know the value of contents that are covered? Are smaller items such as tablets, jewellery and such included? Good time to check? Just because they are hidden it doesn't mean they won't be found!
8. SOCIAL ADVERTISER? - Got a Facebook and Twitter account? Love to tell everyone your are going to Uncle Fred's for Christmas? You could be advertising your empty home to burglars in your area. Keep your social media updates safe....think ahead. Don't tag your entire household in a location that is not your home!
9. SEE THROUGH WINDOWS! - 30% of burglaries in the home, and businesses, happen due to a lack of window security. Install deadlocks, check for cracks in the glass, dodgy hinges or damaged wooden frames.
10. HERE'S THE KEY - You may think you have the perfect hiding place for a spare key...you don't! Thieves know just where to look. They have seen it all. Give a spare key to someone close to home...don't stick it under the rock in the rockery, on a string behind the letterbox, inside light fittings or under the mat.
Please have a safe and secure Christmas...don't give any reason for it not to be!