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‘Tis the season to be … careful Posted On 14 December 2020

Follow these handy tips to make sure Santa is the only one getting into your home during the festive season

Even though COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns mean we are spending more time at home this year it is best not to become too complacent when it comes to protecting our property, particularly during and immediately after the festive season.

Police and security experts believe homeowners still leave too many obvious clues to encourage would-be intruders. So, what can we do to stop any light-fingered characters casting a dark cloud over what should be one of the brightest times of the year?

Most burglars will have done their homework and scouted areas in the weeks leading to the festive season. They will have taken note of excessively large cardboard packaging left by the side of the recycling bin; spotted the online deliveries left behind the ornamental pot in your porch and could even have seen you struggling in with your shopping.

So, break down cardboard until it can fit in the bin or take it immediately to the recycling centre. If you can’t do that, don’t put it out until just before the collection. And, of course, you’ve removed all identifying labels from the packaging, haven’t you? But that’s something to bear in mind all year, not just Christmas.

As for the presents, don’t have them on view in your house or car. There may be more of us working from home now but a casual glance through a window is more than enough to give a potential intruder an idea if there are rich pickings to be had, so don’t put presents under the tree until the night before Christmas.

And if you are out shopping for gifts, keep the expensive ones out of sight. A branded bag can easily go walkabout if there are crowds of people around.

Which brings us on to social media. While its lovely that you’ve bought the other half a Rolex or a diamond pendant, don’t broadcast it to Facebook. And if you are putting pictures online, choose your background carefully – it may be a lovely, happy group shot but hang on, isn’t that a high-spec 8K TV with a top-of-the-range soundbar just behind Granddad?

And finally, keep your windows and doors locked, even if you are just nipping a couple of houses up the road to deliver a few cards. Sometimes a few minutes is all it takes to lose valuable items, while trailing extension cables for your external lights through partially open windows is never a good idea – if you want an outdoor display, fit an external electric socket or buy solar or battery-powered lights.

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