Whether your style is subtle strands of twinkling lights or the biggest rooftop reindeer on the street, our homes are such an important part of the Christmas experience. They are at the heart of the gift giving and celebratory feasts which are central to this holiday. From Santa’s magical night-time trip down the chimney to overflowing dining tables, images of the festive house abound in films, books and advertising at this time of year.
After two Decembers marred by Covid and travel restrictions, 2022 promises us the opportunity to get back to normal. Even last year, more people than usual stayed at home thanks to the continued threat of Omicron. Now it is predicted that the number of families who will opt for a small gathering in their house with immediate family will return to the lowest levels since before the pandemic.
2022 is being billed as ‘The Great Getaway:’ almost twice as many people plan to go on holiday or visit family abroad as in a normal year. In London, as many as one in five are expected to travel away from home. The Home Secretary has warned that industrial action at airports may cause ‘serious disruption’ but approximately two million passengers are expected to brave the journey anyway. Likewise, December train strikes are likely to have a significant effect on travellers, particularly in Kent and other areas just outside London, who may be planning to travel to one of the London airports by rail. With so much potential travel disruption this year, the last thing you need to worry about is your home security whilst you’re away.
Yet December 2022 might just be the grand opportunity for burglars to strike. With many continuing to embrace remote and hybrid working patterns, the festive season may be the first time this year that your home has been empty for a length of time. It’s more important than ever that your policy includes sufficient home contents insurance.
We’ve all seen Home Alone – and the film is making its usual climb up the rankings of most-watched films on Disney+ this December) – so we know that thieves love to target houses that have been left empty over the Christmas period. Sadly, this type of tactic doesn’t just exist on the screen – the recent Raheem Sterling burglary at his home in Surrey shows that criminals are eager to capitalise on any potential advantage. As a result of the very well publicised absence of Sterling and his fellow World Cup teammates, they may have assumed that the house was unprotected. It also left the other players concerned about similar incidents at their own houses during the rest of the tournament.
After multiple recent arrests, police in England have warned of an expected increase in burglaries and thefts around Christmas and urged homeowners to ensure their house is secured when they’re away. The BBC have reported the significant fall in the number of charges for suspects in burglary cases in 2022. Although local forces continue to claim that responses to burglaries are a priority, the best way to protect your home and contents is through insurance. The residents of Oak Grove in Doncaster have become infamous for the rate of burglaries that have faced: there have been 10 incidents in the past 18 months, with one resident being hit four times between November and Christmas last year.
Rather than leaving a Kevin Macallister-style obstacle course for any would-be burglars over the Christmas break, these five top tips can help bring you peace of mind during your festive getaway.
The UK is currently in the grip of freezing temperatures and more snow and ice is forecast before the end of the year. Before you leave the house, make sure you have left the heating on at a level that will prevents pipes from freezing, and then potentially bursting when temperatures rise again.
Another way to avoid damage in your absence, and having to make a claim for buildings insurance, is to turn the water in the house off completely. Use the stopcock which is typically found under the kitchen sink.
Whilst CCTV and home alarms seem to be decreasing in popularity, the number of people using a Smart doorbell with a camera has increased. They allow you to see anyone approaching the property from any location to help you feel assured that your house is protected during the Christmas break. You can even update your Ring Doorbell to play a festive tune during December.
Buying a socket timer or timer switch plug allows you to set the lights to come in your house whilst you’re away which can offer a deterrent to burglars. Modern brands even offer smart plugs which can be controlled remotely so that you can vary the time that you switch on the lights, rather than them coming on at the same time each day.
Although these safety measure can offer some protection, they’re not a replacement for home insurance. If the worst were to happen over Christmas, it’s vital to know that your house insurance has the right level of cover for any claim you need to make. Finding a quote for your home insurance is straightforward with Insuro. We help you avoid the lengthy and confusing process of visiting lots of different insurance provider websites. Click here to compare home insurance policies in seconds to offer peace of mind during your festive getaway.