At Christmas, when most people are preparing to have a great holiday with their family, there are others preparing to ruin it for everybody else. This article is here to help you stay safe and keep your presents protected. There are two main types of thieves which target Christmas. The first will only steal if an opportunity arises. The other will spend time planning a theft to make sure it all goes to plan. You want to cover all aspects of safety to ensure that they both can’t harm your holiday.
- Have all your valuable possessions (phones and wallets) kept out of sight. In case you do have your wallet or purse stolen, prevent the issue becoming too bad by not carrying large amounts of cash or gift cards. You don’t want to spend Christmas on the phone to your banks re-ordering debit or credit cards.
- Park your car in a well lit area, and if possible in a secure car-park. If you have a GPS unit, make sure it’s kept off the dash-board and not visible from outside.
- Try to buy Christmas presents using a credit card. If a present is then stolen, there’s a higher chance of there being insurance to cover the loss.
- When visiting a cash-point, check the machine thoroughly before entering your card. A card skimmer is a tiny device which will copy the details of your card. In addition to a tiny camera somewhere to record your PIN, a thief could clone the card and use it to buy anything they wanted.
- If you’ve purchased presents and stopped off at the car to drop them off, make sure you have them in the boot with the cover over them.
- 30% of Christmas burglaries occur when a thief spots a window open. Prevent this from happening by making sure that you don’t have extension cords going outside via a window. Check to make sure each window is closed, locked and your security system is armed before leaving the house.
- If leaving for a holiday break, ensure the house is fully locked and your security system is armed. Remember to schedule your lights to come on at sunset every day and set automated shades to open and close curtains. This makes the house look as if you’re still home.
- Don’t post holiday plans on-line! You want to prevent people from knowing you’re not at your house. An empty house is more likely to be stolen from.
- If you’re away from the house, don’t have your spare key hidden around the property. Any burglar will check around to try and find any method to get in without breaking a window. A smart lock will allow you to unlock the door for family or friends right from your smartphone if needed.
- Avoid having your valuables and presents from being visible from outside your house. Anyone passing by on the street may look in and see something worth breaking in for at a later time.
- Shortly after Christmas, there’s the chance of a scammer calling up to try and steal your personal information. They call up and claim to be from a company such as Apple or Microsoft and state there’s a problem with a gift that’s just been opened. After this they make up stories to persuade you to give them your card details.
- If you own a shed, make sure that it’s locked with no potential ability to be opened up. Outdoor security cameras let you keep an eye on your belongings. A dedicated thief could go in there to find items to help them gain access to your house.
Christmas time means that lots of people will be attending Christmas parties and potentially drinking of alcohol, even then you need to stay safe. Avoid walking around alone at night and stay aware of your surroundings. If at any point you feel unsafe, call the police straight away as they are there to help. The main points to take away with you are to keep an eye on your surroundings and do the best you can to minimize risk to yourself and your property.
Stay safe and have a Merry Christmas from all of us at BSG! Remember to be vigilant and keep the Grinch at bay!