Tips to protect your investment property & your home this festive season

18-Dec-2014

The festive season is a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends. But it's also a time when many people go away on holidays, a fact that many burglars will take full advantage of if they're given the chance. That's why it's especially important to protect your home and investment property against the possibility of theft at this time of year.

Festive Lighting - Be secure:

A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets. 

Be careful not to advertise your home to burglars on social media:

According to one recent study, social media is a commonly used tool for scouting potential targets. Social media savvy families have a tendency to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation plans. This lets burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem as it basically allows burglars to go shopping just by viewing your Facebook profile.

Check doors and windows for weak spots:

Government statics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bults and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially. 

Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night.

Making sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy.

Away over Christmas - plan ahead!

If you're going away at Christmas be sure to cancel any newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park in the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Do not leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages or and again make use of light timiers. 

Secure garages and sheds:

Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment - make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools. Naturally make sure anything portable / valuable is secured.

Don't hide keys and use alarms if you have them:

Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don't hide spare keys under rocks, in flower pots or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or a trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms though many are rarely set. Make sure yours is on to protect your home. 

Check your home insurance policy: 

To make sure your Christmas gifts are covered in the unlucky event of a burglary.