As the nights draw in, temperatures drop, and Christmas quickly approaches, people around the world will get into the festive spirit and dress their homes to celebrate the season.
But an expert warns it could spell doom for you and your home as the festive period is known as one of the busiest times for burglaries – with intruders hoping to surprise Brits.
Former burglar turned security expert Michael Fraser has revealed the most common home security mistakes we make every day and shared tips on how to protect your home from intruders.
Michael spoke to tool experts Toolstation, whose research revealed that just 47 percent of households close their blinds or curtains at night, while a staggering 46 percent admitted to keeping the room lights on. house lit. Meanwhile, 16 percent of those surveyed said they left their television or radio on.
Here, FEMAIL reveals the most common home security mistakes Brits make, plus how to protect your home from potential burglars, according to expert…
FEMAIL reveals the most common home security mistakes Brits make, plus how to protect your home from potential burglars, according to former burglar Michael Fraser (Stock image)
1. Shred or cut your documents
Many people throw official documents into their outdoor trash cans without giving much thought to the important information they might contain. But according to Michael, the wheelie bin is still a target for burglars.
He said: “The first thing burglars will do is rummage through a person’s wheelie bin.
“They may be able to find documents or advertisements with the owner’s name on them and use them to claim their identity.”
“Households should be sure to shred or cut up any documents they throw away.”
2. Inspect windows and door locks
While many homeowners are strict about security at the front of their home, ensuring their front doors are double-locked and even investing in porches, it’s not uncommon to forget other entry points.
“Most people often only consider how the front of the house looks to burglars, but forget about the back of the house,” Michael said.
“Make sure all rear windows and doors are darkened and all valuables are kept out of the line of sight.
If you’re proud to spruce up your home with a bit of Christmas sparkle, Michael suggests keeping valuables away from the window (Stock image)
“Burglars will also inspect door locks. Cylinder locks are more attractive to burglars because they do not hold very well.
“I would recommend purchasing a much stronger and more robust lock which will make burglars less confident when attempting to break in.”
3. Check for weak entry points
What you think are waterproof security measures for your home might actually be a weak entry point for a seasoned burglar.
Michael said the old “Beware of Dog” sign no longer does the trick and may actually give way to something more sinister.
In fact, the sign gives burglars an additional reason to attempt a break-in. Michael explained: “When burglars see this sign, they immediately think the house may have a pet flap and a weakened entry point. »
4. Place calendars and valuables away from the window
The security expert said intruders often search personal and physical calendars because they store crucial information about your schedule.
“While a physical calendar may seem harmless, if it is visible from the window, burglars can use it to determine the days and times the home will be left unattended.
“I would always recommend closing the calendar when leaving, or at least putting it out of sight.”
Michael said the old “Beware of Dog” sign no longer does the trick and may actually give way to something more sinister. (Stock image)
According to research by Toolstation, 34% of households leave a spare key at the front door, with people leaving it under a plant pot, buried in the dirt or even under a welcome mat. Michael strongly advises against any of these practices.
He said: “If you leave a key outside your house it is bound to be found.
“Burglars know all the common hiding places and look for clues in the area, such as fresh soil in a certain spot relative to the rest of the lawn, or a pot that has moved slightly from its circular spot.
“I would always recommend giving it to someone who lives near you and who you can trust.”
5. Travel in secret
For homeowners who are going on vacation or traveling abroad to see family, Michael suggests a plan of action to keep your home safe when unoccupied.
He explained: “If you are going to the airport by taxi, direct it to arrive down the street and do not provide any information about the destination you are traveling to abroad.
“With such a huge presence on social media today, it’s very easy for burglars to track people down, so try to only post holiday photos after the trip is over.”