The holiday season is a time for joy, family gatherings, and the excitement of unwrapping new treasures for both young and old. However, amidst the festive spirit and gift exchanges, a less cheerful reality looms—a surge in criminal activity that threatens our holiday cheer.

To ensure your holiday season remains merry and safe, we’ve turned to former burglars who have bravely shared their insights into the top five vulnerabilities they exploit during the Christmas season. Join us as we delve into these crucial tips to protect your home and loved ones.

1. Discreet Packaging: Shielding Your New Possessions

It’s no secret that burglars keep an eye out for the telltale signs of new and valuable possessions. The sight of discarded packaging can inadvertently serve as an advertisement for your treasures within. Former offenders strongly advise against leaving empty boxes outside, emphasizing that even packaging from less expensive items can pique a burglar’s interest.

To safeguard your home, consider keeping your gifts out of sight, breaking down boxes, or transporting them directly to recycling centers. By eliminating this enticing evidence, you can effectively deter potential burglars from targeting your home.

2. Secure Your Outdoor Space: Foiling Burglars’ Schemes

Believe it or not, seemingly helpful items left outside can unwittingly aid burglars in their endeavors. Former offenders have shared stories of using wheelie bins to scale fences or walls with ease. To prevent such opportunities, keep your bins securely behind locked gates, and employ weatherproof padlocks to safeguard outdoor storage areas.

By restricting access to tools and securing outdoor spaces, you can effectively thwart burglary attempts and protect your home and belongings.

3. Exercise Social Media Caution: Keep Your Plans Under Wraps

In an era of constant connectivity, it’s essential to exercise caution on social media platforms during the holiday season. Former burglars have revealed their tactics, including the use of platforms like Facebook and Instagram to identify when homes are unoccupied.

To protect your privacy and security, refrain from broadcasting your holiday plans on social media. Be mindful of sharing holiday pictures only after your return home, and exercise caution when using geotags that can reveal your exact location. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your online presence doesn’t inadvertently invite trouble.

4. Illuminate Your Safety: Lights as a Burglar Deterrent

Exterior lights serve a dual purpose during the holiday season. Not only do they add to the festive ambiance, but they also play a vital role in deterring burglars by eliminating potential hiding spots. Former offenders readily admit that well-illuminated driveways and gardens significantly reduce blind spots that burglars often exploit.

Consider investing in security lights, CCTV cameras, and burglar alarms, as these practical and sometimes cost-effective measures can be particularly effective during the long nights of the holiday season, especially when you’re away from home.

5. Lock Up: A Simple Yet Effective Measure

The simplest yet most effective measure to protect your home is to lock doors and windows securely. Opportunistic burglars often target homes with unlocked entry points, making it imperative to reinforce your home’s security.

Consider securing doors and gates with tamper-resistant mortise locks and be cautious about where you keep your keys. If your door has a letterbox, crafty thieves may attempt to retrieve keys from inside. By taking these precautions, you’ll significantly reduce the chances of a break-in and enjoy a festive celebration without unwanted surprises.

Incorporate these expert tips into your holiday season to safeguard your home, ensuring that your Christmas is not only joyful but also safe and secure. Wishing you a season filled with warmth, happiness, and peace of mind.