Will your property be safe this Christmas?

Noddle has joined forces with Immobilise – The UK National Property Register – to bring you 10 simple tips to help protect your possessions and properties during the festive season.

For many people, the festive season is about spending time with family and friends. However, this often means that homes are left unoccupied and unfortunately thieves see this as an opportunity!

Luckily, deterring the opportunist burglar requires little effort or expense. It’s a fact that most burglars will not risk breaking into an occupied house, so here are a few simple steps to trick people into thinking you’re home!

  1. Keep curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night.
    Make sure valuable items are out of sight. If you’re going to be away for a couple of days, we recommend partially closing curtains.
  1. Use light timers, and consider leaving hall/landing lights on.
    Doing this will give the illusion of occupancy.
  1. Away over Christmas – plan ahead! 
    Be sure to cancel newspaper or milk Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression that someone is home.
  1. Festive lighting – be secure.
    A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows and criminals know to look for this vulnerability.
  1. Dispose of gift packaging carefully. 
    Refuse collections over the Christmas and New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling centre, make sure you only put rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to break apart/fold boxes inside-out so that they do not advertise the new contents of your home to thieves!
  1. Be Cyber Aware and careful not to advertise your home to burglars on social media! 
    Social media savvy families tend to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any holiday This can let burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem as if privacy settings aren’t locked down.
  1. Secure garages and sheds. 
    Make sure tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not accessible. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – make sure the garage is locked and your possessions are secured too in.
  1. Don’t hide keys and use alarms if you have them. 
    Burglars know to look for hidden keys so instead give the spare to family, friends or a trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms and you should make sure yours is on when you’re away where possible.
  1. Invest in motion sensor flood-lights
    Or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This often makes approaching a home too conspicuous for a burglar.
  1. And lastly, don’t forget to register your gifts on Immobilise! 
    Most gadgets and consumer electricals have a unique identification code, such as a serial number or for mobile phones an IMEI number (dial *#06# on your phone to retrieve it). Registering items pre-loss/theft helps the Police to easily identify the owners of items they recover and to detect crime. Go to: immobilise.com

We hope that you find these tips useful and we encourage you to share them with your family, friends and colleagues. As always, please remain vigilant and report suspicious activity immediately to the police on 999 if a crime is in progress, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 .