Make Sure Santa is the Only One Sneaking into Your House this Christmas
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! By now, we’re all getting into the swing of planning for Christmas and that means plenty of Christmas shopping! All that shopping also means that our homes are becoming stacked to the rafters with expensive items and desirable gifts, something that can also make them a target for burglars. At SO-SURE, we want to make sure your house is kept safe this festive season, and Santa is the only person gaining access to your property. That’s why we’ve done some research and provided our top tips for keeping your home safe and secure from everyone but jolly old Saint Nick this Christmas.
UK Christmas spending is on the rise
This Christmas we’ve seen the return of shoppers to the high street, whilst online sales still boom, meaning the tills will be ringing just as much as the jingle bells ahead of Christmas 2021. In fact, it’s estimated that the average spend per person for Christmas gifts will go up by 15%, with the average person spending £548, up from £476 spent in 2020.
Of the money spent, an average of £50.92 is spent on desirable electronic items and £44.07 on toys. This increase in spending means that Brits will be taking home £25.6 billion worth of gifts ahead of Christmas. That’s a total increase of £1.4 billion being placed under Christmas trees this year!
How does Santa get in?
Of course, we all know that not every present will be purchased at the shops and a certain Father Christmas will be bringing some of his own. For those who have little ones that are excited for the arrival of Santa and his sleigh, the temptation might be there to leave an access point clear for the main man to get in, after all, not every home has a chimney these days.
We polled UK parents on Twitter to find out how most people tell their children Santa gets into the house. Of those who replied, 54% said they tell them he comes down the chimney, perhaps signalling a move away from the traditional tale of Santa getting into the home. Further to this, 30% said he uses the front door and 15% the window.
UK burglary statistics
The downside to having all those wonderful gifts and new items in your home around Christmas time is that your home becomes even more of a target for thieves. After all, we all remember the Wet Bandits breaking into the McCallister house in Home Alone! Jokes aside, having your house burgled at Christmas, or any other time of year, is an awful thing to go through but, unfortunately, isn’t uncommon.
Between June 2020 and June 2021, there were 216,751 residential burglaries in the UK. Of these burglaries, a hefty 22% took place in London. In fact, the area of Westminster is the most dangerous part of the country when it comes to home burglaries, with 11.57 per 1,000 people. Second to this was the city of Middlesbrough in the North East with 10.07, followed by Hackney, Islington and Camden, all in London.
How do burglars get in?
Breaking into a home may bring to life images of cat burglars sneaking across rooftops, however many thieves access your property in the same way you do. According to the ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales December 2020, 76% of burglars entered through the front door, with one-in-five (20%) using a window for access.
Of the 76% who gained access through the front door, 14.5% found that very door to be unlocked! These types of mistakes can be an open invitation for thieves looking to steal your property, and it’s important that homeowners do whatever they can to keep their house secure.
According to Statista, 71% of households in the UK don’t own or use a burglar alarm at all, with 48% not having any external sensor lights and 67% having no extra security bolts on their doors. For that XX% who tell their children Santa comes in through the front door, he might not be the only one…
When it comes to the items stolen, the ONS Crime Survey showed that money, including wallets, credit cards and purses, (40%) was the most stolen item, followed by jewellery and watches (32.5%) and computers (23.4%). Many of these are items we might be keeping under the tree this year.
Our top tips for keeping your home safe this Christmas
All these facts about burglaries might seem a little daunting, but with a few steps to keep your home secure, there’s plenty you can do to keep the thieves out and make sure Santa still gets in!
- Lock your doors
This might seem like a simple tip, but keeping your doors locked really is the first (and easiest) step to securing your home from burglars. This doesn’t just mean at night or when you’re out, either. Opportunist thieves will choose to enter your home at any time of day and can even sneak in when you’re in the house. Make sure your door is locked and they’ll be stopped at the first hurdle.
- Step up security
With over one-in-seven UK households not having or using an alarm, it’s clear to see that people can do a lot more to step up security. Having an alarm fitted (and actually using it!), installing extra locks and deadbolts on doors and windows, fitting motion sensor lights inside and outside the home are all great ways to deter criminals. Anti-snap locks and extra locks on patio doors are also a great addition, as patio doors can often be easy for thieves to break open.
- Keep items hidden from view
Although you may want to put that new games console or shiny jewellery in pride of place, it’d be wise to keep expensive items out of view. If an opportunist thief can see valuable items through the window, they’re much more likely to attempt to break into the home and take them. If you have anything really valuable, consider storing it in the loft or attic, where thieves are unlikely to go.
- Don’t advertise your absence
Although burglaries do happen when you’re at home, they’re much less likely to happen if you’re away from your property. As a result, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re not advertising the fact you’re out of the house. Keep calendars out of view of any windows, so an opportunist can’t spot when you’re out. Also, consider lamps on timers if you’re going away overnight, that way your house won’t look so empty.
- Get insured!
You can take lots of steps to try and stop thieves from breaking into your home, but unfortunately not all burglaries can be stopped. In the event of a worst-case scenario, it’s important that you’ve got your home contents covered. As you may have lots of extra items in your home, you just need to check that it doesn’t push the value of your home contents cover above its maximum – otherwise you run the risk of not being paid out for some losses. Our Contents Insurance policies cover for robbery and loss and theft as standard, meaning you’d be covered if the worst happens. You can get a quote here!
Christmas is one of the most exciting times of year and absolutely nobody wants it to be affected by a burglary! Keeping your home safe and secure, as well as making sure you’ve got the right contents insurance is the best place to start. Oh, and remember to leave those mince pies out for the one person you do want to let in!