And although Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, t’s also a time when thieves are most active and are on the lookout for opportunities to steal from hardworking families.
Thieves are also very resourceful. They’ll take a good look at what you’ve put in the rubbish, such as the boxes from TV’s, smartphones, computers and gaming systems, and target your home according to what they believe they can find within it.
According to Natsha Morgan, a security expert from My Home Watch, the festive combination of expensive new items and unattended homes is a thief’s paradise.
“It’s a well-known fact that criminals drive through neighbourhoods looking for places to burglarize,” says Natasha. “If there’s mail piling up, your bin isn’t out on bin day, but it’s full, gardens over grown, curtain and blinds drawn 24 hours a day and your home doesn’t look lived in, they figure the home is empty.”
Here are some of Natsha’s best tips for clean up safely this Christmas and keeping your home secure.
- “Wrapping paper should be placed in sealed garbage bags, reducing any colourful attraction to your bin.”
- “Take the time to cut and flatten boxes up so they fit in your recycle bins.”
- “Take any extra-large packaging from bikes, TVs and any electronics to the dump, don’t place on your curb and definitely not in your bin.”
- “Shopping bags with branded logos on them make great reusable bags, so don’t throw them away, store them for another day.”
- “If you plan to go away after Christmas Day, make sure all the presents are packed away and nothing is in clear sight in front of windows. Burglars just love to walk around and window-shop!”
- “We all want to make sure our children aren’t able to get a sneak peek at their Christmas presents before the big day, and a large number of parents use their cars or car boots to hide their children’s Christmas presents. This is not an ideal place or one that’s secure. With Christmas being a warmer month, heat can ruin a good present, not to mention thieves can look through your car windows and see what you have stored on your back seats.”
Natasha’s tip: “Consider giving your children’s gifts to a grandparent, a trusted friend or relative that has no children to keep secure at their home until a couple of days before Christmas Day."
These are the home security mistakes that people most often make at Christmas, According to security expert Natasha Morgan.
- “Not being home to collect your deliveries. Thieves start stealing home deliveries left unattended on doorsteps well before Christmas day.”
- “You should avoid putting presents underneath the tree until Christmas Eve (those with cats, dogs or impatient children probably don't need to be told this).”
- “People place their trees in front of windows within clear sight for thieves to see directly into their home, and all the gifts sitting under the tree.”
- “Shed and garages left unlocked. A lot of thieves do break-in to sheds, and they're looking for car tools or food, fridges, freezers and anything else easy to sell.”
- “Having your security system installed next to a window or door with no covering. Doing so allows a burglar to look inside and see if your security system is armed and active.”
- “Holding Christmas parties at your home and forgetting to lock the front door or shut the gates as visitors are coming and going. Leaving your home wide open for a thief to come wandering into your home, while you’re busy looking after your guests in your back garden.”
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