Keep your home safe this Christmas

With the count down to Christmas already under way, most people are concerned with getting all of their shopping done (or are yet to start), with home security far down the list.

As burglaries are on the rise this year, it is worth considering our social media activity over the festive period as it could potentially be an invitation to thieves. According to a recent AA Home Insurance survey of about 5,500 participants, 72% of us are planning on ramping up our home security this Christmas.

What’s more, some 8% say they are likely to post about their Christmas haul on social media. Equally alarming is that a further 15% admit they will likely alert their network, and possibly potential intruders, as to their whereabouts via ‘check-in’ status updates on platforms such as Facebook.

Keep your home safe from prying eyes

Ask all home occupants to refrain from posting their Christmas holiday plans on social media – better still, ask them to deactivate the GPS function on their smartphone. Delete all social media postings from friends that may make reference to your travel plans over the course of the Christmas holidays, too. It is best to avoid posting photos and videos that relate to travel plans until January.
If you need to contact friends or family via a social media platform, it is safer to use the private messaging function over the Christmas period.
It is good practice to caution all home occupants against accepting social media friend requests from people they don’t know, especially younger people.
While some of us might like to boast on various social media platforms and post imagery about how generous Santa has been to us this year, bear in mind that by doing so you’re essentially jeopardising those prized gifts, and of course your own personal safety.
Be creative with where you hide your Christmas gifts rather than stuffing them all in one wardrobe and avoid placing them under the tree until the very last minute. The attic and a large wardrobe is the first place most burglars would first check.
Be sure to check with your home insurance provider if your Christmas gifts are covered in the unfortunate event of a burglary. For example, all AA Home Contents policyholders’ cover automatically increases by 10% for the months of December and January.
Develop a routine of locking all doors and windows before leaving your house before going to bed, leaving your home or even going as far as your garden.
If you have a home alarm system installed not only will it increase the safety of you and your home during the festive period but it can also save you money on your Insurance premium. Remember to tell your insurance company that you have one, but you must also remember to use it consistently.
When leaving your home for a period of time, either day or night, it’s worth considering leaving on a bathroom or hall light. It can act as a good deterrent for preying burglars.

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