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Don’t make it easy for Xmas burglars

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

With a rise in the number of homes broken into over the festive period it’s crucial you protect your property

Homeowners are being warned not to present burglars with an opportunity to break into their property this Christmas.

According to research by The Co-op Insurance many of us have a house crammed full of gifts in the weeks leading up to Christmas, as we get most of our shopping done well in advance.

More than two in five people (42%) will have done their gift shopping by 22 November and a further third (33%) will be hitting the shops between 23 November and 6 December – the most popular time to pick up presents. The average amount consumers will spend on gifts is £437, meaning there will be a lot of brand new expensive items filling people’s houses in the coming weeks.

And burglars know this only too well, with burglaries at this time of year increasing by 38%.

To help people keep their presents safe this Christmas, Co-op Insurance spoke to ex-burglars to find out what used to put them off when it came to targeting homes.

Motion-activated security lights are most likely to put would-be burglars off, with 26% steering clear of homes with these installed.

CCTV cameras are also a useful deterrent, with over a fifth (22%) of potential thieves wanting to avoid houses with these in place. A total of 15% said that a dog’s bark would make them walk away, and professionally monitored burglar alarms were avoided by 11%.

Common mistakes

The ex-burglars also explained the common mistakes home-owners make which could leave them at a higher risk of being broken into. These included:

  •  Shutting the curtains when they go away and then they’re shut all day every day
  •  Leaving curtains open all the time
  •  Leaving post protruding from the letter box
  •  Leaving things on show.

Jonathan Guy, head of claims at Co-op Insurance, said: “As Christmas approaches houses begin to fill up with valuable items, all of which are desirable to thieves, which many people have saved up for months to afford.

“Many people will be visiting their nearest and dearest over the holidays but nobody should have to deal with somebody entering their home and stealing their possessions. Our research has shown that simply installing a security light outside the home can deter burglars from targeting properties. If you are going away you could ask a family member or neighbour to visit your property whilst you are away to keep a check on things.

“While insurers such as ourselves increase cover limits on the items in your home by 10% at Christmastime and during other religious festivals, prevention is always better than cure and a few simple steps can ensure that nobody has a ‘Blue Christmas’ this year.”