Home and Office Security – Don’t Let Thieves Steal Your Christmas
Whilst you, your family and friends are full of good cheer at this festive time of year, there are would-be thieves looking to pay for their Christmas, by ruining yours. Millennium Locksmiths provide advice on home and office security at Christmas.
Home Security at Christmas
It is estimated that burglaries rise by 30% in the run up to Christmas. Although, the dark evenings may be a contributing factor, houses full of new and expensive gifts are just too tempting for burglars to resist. Millennium Locksmiths offer tips and advice on protecting your Christmas.
- Door and window locks – if you have been thinking all year about upgrading your locks, then Christmas and New Year may be a good time get around to booking a locksmith to upgrade your locks. In December, your home will be full of expensive jewellery, electronic devices, bicycles and scooters – and burglars know it will be too.
- Burglars like to know that your home is full of gifts. Don’t put your presents under the tree too early, especially if the tree can be seen through a window.
- Keep presents and gifts in the house prior to wrapping and placing them under the tree. Don’t be tempted to hide them away from little ones by hiding them in the garden shed or garage, where it can be even easier for a thief to get their hands on them.
- Planning to pop the question at Christmas? Treating a family member with very expensive jewellery? Remember, unless you have contacted your insurance company and informed them of each specific piece of jewellery, in the case of burglary, they will likely not be covered, to their full value, through your insurance company.
- If out Christmas shopping or visiting family try and make it appear as if you are at home. If possible, leave a car on the drive (if neighbours have visitors they would likely be delighted to park on your drive), put 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs light on an automatic timer. Leave a radio or TV on in the house. All of these will make the would-be burglar think twice before choosing your home.
- After Christmas don’t put the boxes out for the bin man. Although you may impress your neighbours with all the fancy gifts you received, you will also be itemising all the goodies a potential burglar can expect to find in your home. Cut up or crush the boxes before putting them out for recycling or better still take them to you local recycling centre, straight after Christmas.
- Make a note of, or take a photograph on your phone, all serial numbers or barcodes of all gifts prior to wrapping them. If the worst happens you have proof for your insurance claim of what was stolen.
- Christmas lights on the exterior of your house? Does the electric cable go into the house through a gap in a window? A small gap in a window for a cable is also enough of a gap for a burglar to use tools to open the window. An Electrician can install a socket outside. Failing that, leave the cable outside and close the window at night or when you are away from your house.
- If you are buying bicycles, ask the shop about post coding schemes for your bike. Most bike shops will also let you store the bikes with them until nearer to Christmas Day.
- Make sure all your doors, patio doors and windows are locked and secure, even when you are at home, and make a special point of checking they are all locked before you go to bed at night. In 30% of all burglaries, the thieves don’t even have to break in, they get in through unlocked doors and windows.
- Going out for a few drinks with friends and worried about losing your house keys? Don’t be tempted to leave a spare key under a doormat, plant pot or dustbin. Thieves know spare keys are kept there as well. If you do lose your keys and find yourself locked out Millennium Locksmiths have a locksmith available throughout Christmas.
- Christmas is a time for family, food and festive fun, not insurance forms and Police statements. Take 30 seconds before you leave the house or go to bed to ensure that your home is protected and all sensible precautions have been made. Please also remember that if the worst does happen, it is common for a burglar to return a few weeks later to steal the goods replaced by the insurance company.
Office Security at Christmas
An office is easy pickings for a would-be thief at Christmas time. It is also important that employers and building managers ensure their employees and tenants are well informed regarding the need for extra precautions during the period.
- If you have been considering upgrading your office, shop, warehouse or commercial premises locks and security – now is a good time, especially if you are closing down over the Christmas holidays. Millennium Locksmiths can advise on upgrading your security and we are available all through the Christmas holidays.
- Wearing a Christmas jumper and having a wrapped present under the arm is all a thief needs to wander around your offices. If you have a receptionist or security guard, educate them that this is a common practice. Don’t be afraid to challenge any visitor, whatever he is wearing (including a Santa suit).
- Stating on your company website or social media that you are closed over the holiday period may be considered good practice for customers trying to contact you. It also makes burglars aware that the premises are likely to be unmanned.
- Special care should be taken during the times most suited for pilferage — the 30 minutes just after opening and just before closing — when there is maximum movement to and from work areas and offices. Retailers especially need to take extra precautions during these times, including cash control.
- Valuables should never be left unattended even in inner office areas. Never leave a purse on the floor underneath your desk or on top of a file cabinet. Put them out of sight, preferably in a locked file drawer or cabinet. Especially if your office is full of “secret santa” gifts.
- Having a Christmas party in the office? Make sure you have a guest list if partners and family members are attending. Make someone responsible for knowing who is in the building.
- Before closing down the building for Christmas, check and double-check all doors and windows are secure. The premises will be unattended for quite some time.
Millennium Locksmiths offer emergency locksmith services as well as planned and appointed lock upgrades and security advice. Our locksmiths are available over the Christmas period inBuckinghamshire and Berkshire.