Local security company provides seasonal safety tips
THE festive season is well and truly upon us and families across Northern Ireland will be finishing their Christmas shopping, catching up on seasonal socialising and preparing for the big day itself.
However, amongst all the excitement of the holidays, December also brings an increased risk for households as burglars seek to take advantage of the dark winter evenings to target homes filled with Christmas presents.
With householders busy making Christmas preparations, a lot of time will be spent out of the house so it’s important that residents don’t be careless when it comes to protecting their homes, according to Northern Ireland’s biggest independent security company.
Mercury Security Management has 15 years’ experience of keeping people and property secure and to help people combat Christmas crime, the Lisburn-based company has compiled a list of tips to keep the burglars away.
“Christmas is a wonderful time of year for families and communities to enjoy but we would ask that, amidst all the fun and festivities, people take a little time out to consider their home security and take a few precautions that might help keep their property and possessions safe,” said Mercury Director Liam Cullen.
“The seasoned burglar will know that the closer we get to Christmas, many people will have left presents sitting around the tree while they are out socialising with family, friends and work colleagues,” added Mr Cullen. “The long, dark nights at this time of year also provide ample opportunity for burglars to take advantage of the activity that often accompanies the build-up to Christmas.
“Most home burglaries are carried out by opportunists who take advantage when you have forgotten to lock a door, or close a window properly – things that are easy to do in the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations.
“We’re all familiar with the 12 Days of Christmas, so to help people give their homes some added protection over the festive season, we’ve come up with 12 Ways to combat Christmas crime,” concluded Liam.
Mercury’s 12 ways to help protect your home this Christmas
- Lock before you leave – before you leave the house for parties or Christmas shopping, lock all doors and windows, even the upstairs ones. Fit restrictors on windows if possible as thieves can wriggle through any gap larger than a human head. Fit locks at the top and bottom of patio doors.
- Be alarmed – don’t forget to set your burglar alarm. In the excitement of Christmas activity, it is not uncommon for people to forget to do the obvious! Visible alarms make burglars think twice and make sure to get your system serviced regularly.
- Make your home look occupied – try to put burglars off by giving the impression that there is still someone in the house. Leave the lights on in living areas and draw the curtains. If you’re out of town visiting relatives, maybe fit a timer to lamps around the house, so that they will automatically switch on at dusk.
- Keep your car secure – use your car alarm or steering lock and don’t leave items in your car that could be tempting to burglars, like Sat Nav or stereo systems, CDs or big bags of Christmas presents! Always put your car in the garage if you have one and make sure the garage is locked.
- Don’t advertise the fact that you’re out – If you’re going away for a seasonal break, as some people do, be careful about who you tell and what information you post on social networking sites. Check your social media settings to see who has access to your personal details and try to limit to friends only – otherwise strangers (and potential burglars) can see everything you post and will know your house is currently empty.
- Shed your fears – make sure that outbuildings such as sheds and garages – where many Christmas presents are stored ahead of the big day – are locked and alarmed, and securely store any ladders, tools or ornaments that could be used to break windows and doors and help burglars break into to your home. Don’t leave shed or garage keys in view as windows can easily be smashed to reach them and gain entry.
- Inspect your gadgets – ensure that mobiles, laptops and other gadgets are hidden from view. Use an ultraviolet pen to mark items of value, such as televisions and DVD players, with your postcode and house number. This will help police to identify your property more easily if it’s stolen. Try to make sure that larger valuable items, such as guitars, TVs and stereos, can’t easily be seen through windows. Leaving valuable items, including car and house keys, on show gives burglars an incentive to break into your home.
- Protect your pets – don’t leave pets outside on dark evenings and when you are not at home. Pet theft is on the increase in Northern Ireland and even crossbreeds and mongrels can be of value to unscrupulous people.
- See the light – make sure your outdoor lighting is working and is on a sensor. Visible alarms that light up at night will also make burglars think twice about targeting your house.
- Gnome sweet gnome – never leave garden items or ornaments outside during the winter months – they can be used to break windows and doors or cause general damage to cars and property.
- Everybody needs good neighbours – neighbours should stick together so ask people living close by to keep an eye on the house while you’re out. If you’re out of town, give someone key so they can come in, draw the curtains and help make the house look like it’s lived in. It’s a good idea to leave your keys with someone you trust along with details of how to contact you in the event of an emergency.
- Ensure you’re insured – check your household insurance cover.Opening up your home to visitors can expose you to potential insurance claims and lawsuits.
For further information on Mercury Security Management and how they can help protect your home
Founded in 2001, Mercury Security Management is Northern Ireland’s biggest independent security company and one of the biggest in Ireland, headquartered in Lisburn with offices in Dublin, Limerick and London.
The company offers a wide range of services including CCTV remote monitoring, alarm monitoring, manned guarding and concierge services, key-holding and alarm response, satellite-tracked mobile patrols, staff and vehicle escort services, lone worker monitoring, vehicle and asset tracking, approved and accredited training. Mercury provides bespoke stand alone and integrated security solutions to clients across a number of sectors including retail, finance, government, residential, etc.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: For further information, please contact Michael Rafferty or Ciara Jordan of Duffy Rafferty Communications on 028 9073 0880.