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Top Tips to Thwart Thieves from Ruining Your Christmas!  

With the Christmas season now upon us, many are already braving the crowded streets and busy stores in search of that perfect gift to give their loved ones. There are those, however, who look at Christmas not as a time for giving, but as a time for taking-taking your Christmas presents.
During Christmas thieves can see houses as a 'one-stop-shop' for their own shopping and swing into high gear.  As the volume of valuable, easy-to-grab gifts in your home increases, it can become a veritable treasure trove for a burglar. Now is a good time to remind people to take some simple security steps to ensure their Christmas isn't spoiled by criminals."

Top Security's top tips include:
1.    For any outdoor Christmas lights, have an electrician install an
outside socket rather than feeding extension chords through open windows or doors. Burglars will look for unlocked doors and windows before resorting to forced entry. The outdoor socket will cost more than an extension chord, but could save you thousands in the long run.

2.    Don't place your Christmas tree by a window for all to see. Burglars
are opportunists and this is an open invitation for them to check out 'the goods'. Wait until the last minute to place gifts under the tree and, after the big day, break down gift boxes and conceal them in black bin liners in your bin.  Never pile up empty boxes from gifts outside because burglars can then see that you received a new computer or DVD player.

3.    Don't post your family name on your mailbox or on your house. A
criminal can call directory enquiries to get your telephone number and call your home while outside your house to confirm that you are away.

4.    Don't leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like,
"You've reached the Murphy's.we're away for the Christmas holidays.please leave a message." Criminal's love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and steal from your home.

5.    If heading out to visit relatives or to do some more shopping,
create the illusion that someone is at home by leaving a radio or TV on.
Light timers are relatively cheap and are a great deterrent as well.

6.    If going away for Christmas, do not hide the spare key under
flower-pots or on top of door ledges- even a novice burglar will check out these 'hiding spots'. If you are leaving a key for use in an emergency, give it to a trusted neighbour or a relative. Ask that person to check on your house while you are away and collect any accumulating mail.

7.    Make your home as difficult to break in to as possible. Check that
all doors have strong locks and that any sliding doors are secured. Homes not easily and quickly broken into are most often bypassed for easier targets 

8.    If you have an alarm, use it. It's easy to forget to activate your
alarm especially when you are popping next door or down to the shops for a last minute item. Even when you are in the house at night, it is advisable to activate your alarm.

9.    Consider strongly a monitored alarm system as this is one of the
most cost-effective and easiest to manage deterrents. The immediate response that monitoring provides dramatically minimises the potential risk of loss and damage to your property.
10.    If your alarm is monitored and you are going on holidays, be sure to
inform your alarm monitoring company of the new temporary key holder.

An evening with
Joanne O'Riordan

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