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Driving away for Christmas: 8 top home security tips

With Christmas just around the corner, many homeowners will be leaving their homes this festive season. However, as burglaries tend to increase during the month of December, it's paramount that you consider the security of your home over the Christmas period – especially if you're planning on staying with family or friends for more than a day or two.

Thankfully, there are several security options on the market that make protecting your home a breeze. With simple solutions such as frosted glass or smart solutions such as WiFi-enabled cameras, making your home impenetrable to anyone but Santa is worth the investment.

As well as making sure presents are hidden, stockings are bare, and St Nicolas knows you’re not there, we’ve pulled together the top 8 steps you can take to secure your home and belongings.

Home security measures over Christmas

Locking systems

The last thing you want to worry about while you sip your mulled wine or eggnog is whether you’ve locked your doors. It’s a common anxiety homeowners face whenever they leave for an extended period of time. So, make sure you can assure those intrusive thoughts there’s nothing to worry about by putting sufficient locks in place – including a deadlock for extra anti-burglar security.

Or you may want to consider a smart lock? The average cost of a smart lock will set you back around £202 for a Yale make. Check out our smart locks cost guide for a full breakdown of prices.

Alternatively, hire a locksmith to install new locks or upgrade your current ones. Their fees can range from £100£150 depending on the make of your lock.

Home CCTV system

Security systems are the ultimate deterrent to most (smart) thieves, who won’t risk being caught on camera stealing your mince pies, port collection, or other priceless valuables.

Although security systems sound pricey, in today’s tech-savvy marketplace, a basic 4-camera system could cost you upwards of £800 + VAT.

Christmas security camera

Burglar alarms

If installing a surveillance system in your two-bed terrace seems like overkill, then consider buying a burglar alarm instead (or as well!). After all, prevention is better than cure. The noise alone is a deterrent, which usually elicits at least a cursory glance from any neighbours who’ve been disturbed.

A smart alarm system will cost you around £650, whereas a wired bell-only alarm will set you back an average of £500.

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Security lighting

Anyone who grew up in the ’90s with access to Cartoon Network knows that burglars wear an eye mask, a black and white striped jumper, and carry a bag with the word ‘loot’ written on it. They also know that when burglars are caught red-handed, it’s usually in the spotlight of a torch or security system.

Stereotypes aside, burglars don’t want to be seen. That’s why noise plus lights are enough to deter even the bravest (or stupid) of them. Thankfully, outdoor security lighting is relatively cheap, with most systems costing you an average of £175.

Outdoor security lights

Ring doorbell

A ring doorbell is a great way to see, hear or speak to anyone coming to your door. They often have motion sensors to detect movement, which is why they’re a staple in most homeowners’ properties.

Also, you can pick one up for as little as £60. Read our how to install a ring doorbell guide to learn how to install these handy little security items.

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Curtains/blinds

It’s rare that homes leave their windows undressed these days. However, it’s worth mentioning that blinds and curtains are simple and effective security measures that stop prying eyes from adding you to their target list. Although keeping curtains closed all day is easy if you’re a vampire, humans tend to struggle with endless darkness. Therefore, installing textured glass or opaque blinds are better options that offer security and Vitamin D.

Privacy glass film costs an average of £475 per m², while integral blinds will set you back about £6,000 for a 3 panel bi-fold door.

shutter blinds

If you’re not sure what aesthetic to go for, read our guide: Curtains vs blinds – All you need to know.

Lighting on a timer

Most burglars will check out houses before picking which ones to burgle. This means they track when people are in and out of the house and strike when no one is at home. That’s why a good security measure is to install a timer on your lights via a special plug or by overhauling your entire lighting system to a smart one.

A smart bulb can be operated using an app on your phone, through your WiFi, via Bluetooth, or by speaking to Alexa or Siri. This lets you control when you turn on your lights and also helps you randomise the timing so burglars don’t notice your lights turning on and off at the exact same time every day.

Smart lighting for the whole house could cost around £6,500. Individual bulbs cost around £27 each.

Register your belongings

Our last Christmas security top tip is to register your belongings on immobilise. This makes them immediately available to the police should they be stolen. It also helps simplify insurance claims and increases your chances of recovering your stolen goods.

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FAQs

How can I protect my home during Christmas?

If you’re looking to up the Christmas security in your home this year, follow these 8 top tips and grant yourself greater peace of mind over the festive season.

What is the best theft deterrent for a home?

The best deterrents are security systems such as one or a combination of CCTV, burglar alarms, and lighting.

Do Christmas lights deter burglars?

Lights deter burglars because they increase the likelihood that they’re seen or identified. However, Christmas lights also suggest you have presents that might be worth stealing.

Do burglaries increase around Christmas?

Yes, most incidents of burglary increase during the month of December. However, mitigating the risk is as simple as employing one or several of our 8 top tips.

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