MAX6MUM SECURITY’s Top 10 Home Security Tips for Christmas
Published on 2 December, 2016 | Blog
Christmas is coming, but unfortunately so are soaring crime rates! It may be the season of good will but regrettably not everyone is willing to be good. That is why we are advising all homeowners to consider how secure their properties are in the run up to the festive period.
38 is the percentage household theft rises by in the months after the clocks have gone back, and last winter saw a 25% rise in burglary claims.
As the dark winter nights roll in and Christmas creeps up on us, thieves not only have the cover of night to help them hide their criminal activity, but also have more opportunity to carry it out. With Christmas parties to attend, family to visit and shopping trips to be taken, people are away from their homes for longer; and with dark evenings and lights off – it’s easy for robbers to spot who’s out.
How prepared is your home for the ‘season of stealing’? Is the question we are asking the nations homeowners this December. Here are our Top 10 Home Security Tips to get your home prepared:
1) Upgrade your euro cylinder to a Kitemarked one.
Forcing the lock is the most common way a burglar will try and break into a home, which is why the quality of a lock must not be overlooked. Most homeowners don’t realise that cylinders without the official BSi Kitemark often have little to no security at all. Even with a good multipoint locking system, euro cylinders should be upgraded to kitemarked ones.
The MAX6MUM SECURITY Euro Cylinder is packed full of security features, including – anti-drill pins, anti-pick pins, a system to prevent entry by lock bumping and sacrificial cut lines on both sides of the cylinder – which protect the locking mechanism in the event of a snapping attack. In short, with our Kitemarked product your door will be much better equipped to deal with a number of lock breaking techniques.
2) Make sure your lock is the right size and not overhanging.
If a cylinder is not the right size and is overhanging by 2mm or more, it can be easily snapped – a common tactic burglars use to gain entry. When a lock is snapped the locking mechanism can be accessed and the door breached. A lock should be replaced with one that is the correct size and not overhanging, and it should be fitted correctly. We recommend using the MAX6MUM SECURITY cylinder gauge to measure your door for the correct sized cylinder, or you can use a ruler if you choose. If you aren’t sure contact a locksmith to fit your lock.
3) Install a door chain and use it when answering the door.
If you aren’t already aware of the break-in tactic, door step crime, then you need to get in the know! Today burglars are thinking outside the box when it comes to getting into your home; why would they go to the trouble of breaking in when they can be invited in – or can at least get you to voluntarily open your door. Be aware of bogus callers! They can come in all shapes and sizes, from the gas man, to a charity collector, perhaps a policeman or even a child. Never answer the door unless you know who is calling or unless they can verify who they are.
How to get around this problem? Install a door chain and use it when you answer the door. Not only will this offer protection against anyone who might try barging in past you, but it will also give you a gap to check an ID.
4) Keep any house or car keys away from the front door as they can be ‘fished’ through the letterbox.
We have all done it. Thrown down your car keys when you come in from work right by the door; or left your front door keys in the lock after locking the door behind you. But, just because your door is locked doesn’t mean your keys, and your home, are secure. Keys can be fished – which is when someone puts an arm or tool through the letterbox and pulls the keys through. Don’t take the risk!
5) Install a letterbox restrictor shroud.
This will limit the opening of the letterbox flap to 40 degrees so nothing can be removed through the cavity. Taking these extra precautions can ensure your home is much safer and will give you that added peace of mind.
6) Get rid of any spare keys you might be hiding under a plant pot or garden gnome.
Burglars aren’t stupid. Everyone does it; put their spare key under the plant pot. their matt or under the garden gnome – and burglars know it! You might think your hiding place is a smart one, but it probably isn’t anything they haven’t seen before. So don’t risk it – remove it!
7) Don’t ignore window security.
The window is as much of a target as the door, and yet window security is often overlooked. How can you secure your window cheaply? Install a sash jammer/ window lock on all your downstairs windows to stop the levering of the sash leaf from the outside.
Sash Jammers are a small and simple to fit device that do a big job! Once installed the sash jammer physically stops the intruder from forcing open the window. More specifically it protects against an intruder prying the sash leaf from the window and forcing entry.
8) Invest in visible security measures such as an alarm or fake alarm box.
Alarms are great way to deter thieves, but they can be expensive. Don’t want to spend the earth on security? A faux alarm fitted to the outside of your house can do just as good of a job as visible home security is a proven way to put off potential thieves.
9) Don’t leave your valuables on display – inside or outside your property.
‘Burglar please stop here’ isn’t the traditional sign you would usually put up at this time of the year. But, if you leave your valuables, expensive Christmas gifts and their receipts in view, then it may as well be. With homes filled with expensive gifts, food and alcohol ready for the festivities, crooks may well decide Christmas has come early – for them! Keep your things hidden!
10) Don’t advertise where you are on social media.
78% of intruders are now using Facebook and Twitter to target potential properties by finding out when you are out.
Going on holiday? Wait until you get back to post your pictures. Having a Christmas party? Call you friends or make a private group for the event. Got a broken window or a faulty lock? Tell a professional and not your entire friends list.
The average cost of a domestic burglary amounts to around £2,178 and with a burglary taking place roughly every 40 seconds, there is no time to ignore the risks. By making better choices with door hardware and upgrading the likes of locks, letter plates and door chains for more secure ones you can easily and affordably improve the overall security of your home! Take our advice and secure yourself a burglary free Christmas!