Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends and of course, reflect on home security. Truly, there is nothing more festive than thinking about home alarms! Seriously though, we’ve put together some home safety tips for the festive season which have been vetted by Santa himself.
Tell your friends, not your followers
If you are heading away for Christmas and New Year, don’t lose the run of yourself on social media telling everyone when and where you’ll be away and updating them in real time. You have some control over what posts people see but if your accounts are not private it leaves you more vulnerable to opportunistic thieves scrolling through timelines. It’s nice to be #blessed but don’t be a #wally.
Good neighbours become good friends
It’s a good idea to ask a trusted neighbour to drop in and remove letters from the front porch or hall if you’re away over the festive period. Giving them a spare key allows them to switch off your alarm if it goes off. It will also offer you peace of mind that there’s someone keeping an eye on your home. It might also be a good idea to shut off your water while you're away to prevent against burst pipes or water damage. Show your neighbours where the main valve is so they know where to look in case of emergency.
Timing is everything
If you don’t want to bother your neighbours, you could always add timers to your indoor lights and install sensor lights outside to give the impression that there is some activity.
Don’t be alarmed! No, wait…*do* be alarmed
It may seem very obvious but if you have a ho-ho-house alarm, turn it on! It’s very easy to forget when you’re rushing around the house Home Alone -style before heading out so make it part of your routine. You can read our post on house alarms and other security tips here
Lock ‘em up!
Beefing up your windows and doors with bolts and extra secure locks is relatively easy to do. Don’t worry though, Santa can still magic his way down the chimney or through the front door! As with your house alarm, double-check that all your windows and doors are locked before you leave. You should also check the condition of all your external doors and door frames to ensure they could withstand the force of a determined burglar.
Out of sight, out of mind
Keep gifts and other expensive items out of view if people can see into your sitting room from the road. Don’t tempt passing burglars with your Christmas haul by putting it in plain sight.
How to claim
Hopefully the worst thing you will come home to is some dodgy Kris Kindle presents, but if disaster strikes then claiming on your home insurance will be a little easier if you’re organised. It’s helpful to keep receipts, guarantees, instruction manuals, valuations or photographs as these can support your claim. You may also be asked to provide estimates or invoices for claims. If the claim involves a building repair, normally two estimates are required.
Content yourself with this
While home insurance covers the cost of rebuilding your home should something happen to it, contents cover includes items such as furniture, carpets, appliances, ornaments, clothes and sports equipment.
It’s important to keep your contents cover up to date. A simple way of working out how much you should insure your items for is to go room-to-room and write down how much it would cost to replace everything. Expensive items such as jewellery or antiques should ideally be professionally valued. If something has been stolen from your home or your house has been broken into, call the Gardaí and make a note of the crime reference number they give you.
AA Home Insurance is clever because you can claim up to €3,000 without losing your no claims discount. Get a quote or give us a call on 016740444. Our call centre is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm.