Ensuring your family and your home are safe and secure is always a top consideration, but during the winter months, this can become a trickier undertaking.
With Autumn and Winter inevitably comes shorter days and longer, darker nights and this can give thieves and others with less social and moral fibre even more opportunity to carry out their underhanded professions.
Couple this with the Christmas festive season and the fact that many of us will be spending time away from home visiting family and friends or holidaying in warmer climates, then it’s a pretty safe bet that there will be a fair few properties empty for at least a day or more.
Additionally, with all the presents that are exchanged over the festive period, rich pickings are almost guaranteed.
With this in mind, you really need to take extra care and precautions to ensure that these less than reputable individuals do not receive any extra gifts, namely yours!
What Items are Stolen and When do Burglaries Occur?
When it comes to statistics of burglaries reported during the winter months, these can provide us with some good insight into how and when to protect ourselves:
- Typically, January is the top month for domestic burglaries
- Burglaries during the winter months increase by 20% over the norm
- Generally, burglaries tend to take place between 4pm and 7pm in the evening
As January tends to be quite a quiet month that usually involves meeting family and friends that we didn’t manage to catch up with over Christmas, we can appreciate that this is probably the case.
As it is almost dark by 4pm in the afternoon and in general, if you are out for the day, it’s usually 7 or 8 in the evening by the time you return, we can also appreciate that most burglaries could take place within this time window.
When it comes to the items that are most commonly stolen during this time, you can certainly see the “Christmas theme” as most of the items can easily appear on most families Christmas wish lists:
- Mobile Phones
- Power Tools
- Golf Equipment
- Garden Equipment
How to Prevent Burglaries and Break-ins in Your Home
Despite the high levels of burglary-related crime at this time of year there are quite a few things that we can do to reduce the risks of becoming part of the statistics.
If you know you are going to be away from your property for long periods of the day or even several days, ask a friendly neighbour to pop around in the evening and close your curtains and switch some lights on as this may help to give the impression that some one is at home.
If you have a home automation setup in your property then you can set it to do the above suggestions for you, to turn lights on in the evening and off in the morning and possibly even open and close your curtains for you.
Make sure that any new bikes, garden items etc…. are safely locked away in a shed or garage as soon as it gets dark.
Similarly, don’t leave any new phones, tablets, laptops, cameras or other valuable items in conservatories or next to windows. If an opportunist thief is passing and sees that you have products such as this, then this may be all the incentive they need to “pop back for another visit”.
To help with your crime prevention efforts this Christmas season, DMC Locksmiths have produced this very handy infographic that’s full of very helpful tips on how to protect your home and family.