Unfortunately while we are in the mood for giving and receiving, somebody is in the mood for taking. “Taking” is definitely on the home burglar’s mind as he or she views the holiday season through different eyes – eyes that are focused on your home to complete their own shopping list.
Christmas is a magical time of year when family and friends come together to celebrate the season and with many people enjoying a well deserved holiday over the Christmas and New Year period, it is important to ensure your home is secure and protected from possible thieves whilst you’re away.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, crime rates over Christmas increase by 30 percent on average. So don’t let the opportunistic thief dampen the festive cheer and ruin your day.
Specifically for the Christmas period:
- Christmas tends to bring out the handyman in some of us – don’t get caught feeding an extension cord for fairy lights through a locking window and jeopardising your home’s security
- Do not display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window – this is an invitation for burglars to check out the inventory. If you must place your tree in front of the window, make sure that you don’t display gifts under it until closer to Christmas
Are you going away for the holiday period? Does your home look neglected, abandoned, unused? If so, try the following ideas to make it look occupied:
- Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home and collect any other items which may arrive during your absence
- Consider using an automatic lighting timer on one of your lamps inside the home to give the impression that the house is occupied
- Keep blinds and curtains partly open to give the house a “lived in” appearance if you are going away for some length of time
- Cancel all regular deliveries, e.g. milk, newspapers so the stockpile doesn’t give the game away
- Ask the Post Office to hold your mail
- Never leave notes on your door
- Ask a friend or neighbour to park a car in your driveway from time to time
It is also a good idea to make things tough for aspiring burglars:
- Lock all doors and windows
- Securely lock your garage; most breaking-in implements are found there
- Lock away all portable garden equipment, tools, ladders or anything that could be used to break into your house
- Take your keys or leave them with a friend – do not hide them around the property
- Remove all money and valuables to a safe place, such as your bank
If you notice any suspicious behaviour around your neighbourhood, make sure you contact your local police – Wagga Wagga Police: 6922 2599.
Most importantly, enjoy your holiday!