Direct Line

Direct Line

December 18, 2013 06:43 ET

Brits Are More Security Conscious at Christmas Time Than Ever Before

Fake burglar alarms, 'Beware of the Dog' signs and radios playing around the clock - these are just some of the clever tactics we're using to keep homes safe

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - Dec. 18, 2013) - New research from Direct Line today shows that 72 per cent of Britons will be using clever tactics to prevent burglaries this Christmas.

Half of the population (50 per cent) said they are definitely going to be more security conscious over this festive period, whereas 28 per cent of us have good intentions, but will sometimes forget about the extra measures with all the excitement of the season.

According to the British public, the favoured security methods to safeguard homes this Christmas will be:

  • Installing lights that are on a timer
  • Leaving lights on permanently
  • Leaving the TV/radio playing in the house
  • A 'Beware of the dog' sign in the front yard
  • A fake burglar alarm over front door
  • A doorbell that sounds like a dog barking
  • A mannequin or model in the house to give illusion that someone is home

This attentiveness does not stop once leaving the house - 61 per cent of us will still be worrying about something once we've jumped in the car, with the main worry being leaving a door unlocked (31 per cent), a window left open (25 per cent) or the fear that the oven has been left on (21 per cent).

The majority of us (80 per cent) will turn the car around and go back to the house to check, if we are under five miles away; five per cent would still turn back if we were 20 miles away from home.

Katie Lomas, Head of Direct Line Home Insurance, commented, "Householders can do several things to minimise the risks of being burgled when they are away from the home during the Christmas period. They should cancel any deliveries they may be expecting, and ask a neighbour to keep an eye on the property. They also need to ensure that the home is well secured, using adequate locks and alarms.

"Many householders will find the value of their possessions has increased once they've stored their gifts for others and unwrapped their own. Getting finances in order is a priority for many people's New Year's resolutions, and included in that goal should be a re-assessment of the value of their home contents, to make sure that they have enough insurance should their favourite things be lost, stolen, or damaged. Many people forget to review the value of their home contents, which may have increased over the Christmas period. That's why Direct Line provides an automatic temporary 10 per cent uplift in cover for home contents and 20 per cent for its Home Plus customers."

Direct Line Christmas holiday security tips:

  • Make sure you have locked all the doors and windows to your property
  • Activate your burglar alarm
  • If you are expecting any house sitters, give them your house key - don't leave a key hidden on your property for them, as burglars know to look in the usual hiding spots
  • Lock away ladders and tools which could be used by burglars to break into the property
  • Lock up side gates, garages and sheds
  • Do not discuss your holiday dates in public places such as the pub or on the bus, as you could be overhead by an opportunistic thief
  • Use timer control lights
  • Ask a neighbour to check on your property and push any post fully through the letterbox
  • Leave the heating on a low setting and keep the loft hatch slightly open to avoid coming home to a burst pipe

Notes to editors

Censuswide carried out an online survey of 1,955 UK adults aged 18+ from 29 November to 2 December 2013. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria. Further statistics and information are available on request from Chris Cassell (

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Company No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting

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