Yale combats Christmas criminals /Local/UK/News/Yale%20Christmas.jpg With an increase in burglaries around Christmas, it is more important than ever to make sure your home is secure. With would-be thieves taking advantage of the high value presents we store in our homes during the festive period ASSA ABLOY's residential lock experts Yale have come up with some seasonal security advice to help keep your gifts safe and make sure Santa Claus is the only surprise visitor in your home this Christmas. Answering The Door During the festive season, you are far more likely to be visited by relatives and friends, as well as the occasional carol singer, so Yale recommends fitting a door chain and spy hole to external timber doors. Get into the habit of using the spy hole to check who is at the door and make sure the chain is engaged before opening the door, even if you are expecting visitors to call. Where necessary, ask for ID to confirm the identity of callers. Alarm Systems As well as visiting friends and family, more of us are holidaying at Christmas too, so it’s important that your home is protected while you’re not there. An alarm can act as a crucial visual deterrent and will alert neighbours to would-be burglars. Only 30% of UK homes have an alarm system, yet 60% of burglaries attempted on homes fitted with an alarm are unsuccessful. Yale’s wirefree alarm kits are quick and easy to install, and offer discreet protection for all types of properties, from flats to large family homes. External Doors With more valuable goods in your home than at any other time of the year, it’s important that your door security is up to standard. External timber doors should be secured using a mortice lock and/or nightlatch that meets British Standard BS3621 and if you have a PVCu or Composite door then it is a good idea to upgrade the euro profile cylinder in your multi-point lock to British Standard as well (look for the Kitemark on lock packs and on the lock itself). Windows A property is not properly protected unless all points of entry are secured and Yale recommends that all windows, both upstairs and downstairs, are fitted with at least one appropriate lock. Many burglars will avoid smashing a window and will instead try to force the window frame itself. There are locks available for all types of windows, including wooden, aluminium and PVCu, as well as locks that are suitable for French doors and patio doors. Sheds, Garages and Outbuildings Sheds and garages are often used to store larger, more expensive presents like bicycles and televisions, making them a prime target. Heavy-duty padlocks are recommended for shed doors, whilst anchor locks and cables can secure individual items. Stand alone alarms, which run on battery power, can also be fitted to outbuildings as an extra security measure. These handy alarms require no hardwiring, so can simply be placed on a shelf or wall mounted and the in-built siren will sound if an intruder enters the outbuilding. Identity Theft At Christmas time, you are more susceptible to fraud, as the increase in larger purchases, Internet shopping and a busy social calendar means you are less likely to notice unusual activity on your account. To protect yourself, keep your gift receipts in a home safe that’s bolted securely to the floor or wall. A safe can also be used to store small valuable presents like mobile phones or jewellery until 25th December, as well as important documents like passports. Personal Safety Christmas is the official party season but don’t let your fun be ruined by compromising on your safety. With darker nights and more evening social events to attend, it is crucial to remain self-aware when travelling and Yale recommends always carrying a personal attack alarm. Yale security products are available from your local DIY store, locksmiths or hardware stores. For more information call 01902 364647 or visit www.yale.co.uk .