Whether it's on the roads or around the home, we would urge you all to take extra care this festive season!
If you are taking to the road to see family or friends it's worth remembering bad weather and the hustle and bustle of the festive period can make driving more hazardous. Make sure you've taken the time to do all the usual vehicle checks and plan your journeys carefully so there is no danger of driving whilst too tired. And it goes without saying, get those taxis booked or leave the car at home if you're likely to be enjoying a festive tipple.
If you are heading out, the festive season is a time to be extra careful about home safety. According to the Association of Britsih Insurers (ABI) in this recent article, last December insurers dealt with the equivalent of 435 domestic burglary claims every day, paying £30 million to customers who were the victims of Christmas crime.
Here are some tips to help keep your home and belongings safe and secure this Christmas.
1. Avoid leaving presents in full view in unattended vehicles - ensure they are secured in a locked boot. Also, when out and about in crowds, stay vigilant and be aware of pickpockets!
2. Close your curtains after dark so a thief can't see what’s on offer. When putting presents under the Christmas tree, make sure they are not easily visible from the outside.
3. Think twice about what you post on social media as, unless you have very tight privacy settings, anyone can see what you post. Be careful about sharing photos of all your new presents and if you’re off on holiday and posting photos of your travels, remember this can alert thieves to the fact that you’re not at home.
4. Make it look as though someone’s at home if you go out or away. For instance, set time switches to make the lights come on after dark, see if a neighbour wants to leave a vehicle on your drive and ask them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
5. Take branded packaging to the tip rather than leaving it somewhere obvious outside your home. For example, that cardboard box from your new TV could be a great advert to thieves about what's arrived in your home.
6. Be careful with Christmas trees and lights and candles - keep trees away from from heat sources such as gas fires, portable heaters and candles. Check the lights for any frayed ends or cracks that could indicate that they’re not safe and never leave candles burning whilst unattended.
7. Be mindful when cooking! Food is at the very heart of Christmas, and it’s safe to say many households will be cooking more than usual during the holidays. If you’re hosting a gathering and cooking for a large number, it’s easy to get distracted. Don't neglect the turkey and remember those hot pans or the tray of roast potatoes that might be burning in the oven!
Following these tips and being extra security conscious can help to minimise some of these risks. We do hope it is a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons.