EAST Lancashire residents are being offered handy security tips to make sure Santa Claus is the only person sneaking into their homes this Christmas. 

Accrington-Based 24|7 Home Rescue say December is a peak time for home security call-outs, as thieves strike during the dark nights. 

Director Ranjen Gohri said: “The festive period is a time when many people go out socialising and really enjoy themselves. 

“But unfortunately as people let their hair down they let their guard down, too, and burglars can strike. 

“We wanted to give people a few reminders of easy things they can do which will hopefully serve to keep their homes a little safer, and their Christmases as enjoyable as possible.”

Hide the presents

Ranjen said: “So many people still leave presents under their tree and in full view from the living room window. 

“It’s an iconic feature of Christmas but one which certainly isn’t advised from a security point of view as it can make your home an obvious target for criminals. 

“Put presents out of sight and locked away if possible.”

Keep a low profile 

Ranjen said: “If you’re lucky enough to be going away this Christmas don’t announce it to the world on social media or leave notes for the delivery man on your door. This is like giving burglars an open invitation. 

“You can install things like security lighting, timers and radios to make it look like you’re home, even when you’re not. 

“It’s also worth asking a friendly and trusted neighbour to keep a watchful eye on your home while you’re out.”

Keep doors and windows locked

Ranjen said: “Sometimes people keep their windows slightly ajar to allow electric cables to be fed from inside the home to the outside, to power fairy lights or Christmas decorations. 

“Always keep your doors and windows locked. We get a real surge in call-outs for lock fixes and window replacements this time of year. Don’t make your home an easy target.”

Watch what you’re throwing away

Ranjen said: “If you have a box for an impressive new 49inch television poking out of your recycling bin, criminals can make an educated guess as to what’s in your home. 

“Some people even leave the boxes on the street next to their recycling bins. 

“Keep the boxes advertising what you’ve got for Christmas as out of sight as possible until they’re collected by waste disposal teams.”

Double check your cover

Ranjen said: “No one wants to fall victim to burglars at any time of year - and especially not at Christmas. 

“It’s wise to double check you have the correct home insurance in place just in case the worst was to happen. 

“At 24|7 Home Rescue we also offer home security cover which includes call outs to repair broken locks and windows, keeping your home as secure as possible.”