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According to Churchill Home Insurance, crime rates fall on Christmas Day (actually 59 per cent lower than December’s monthly average), but they climb again before the new year. The 19th and 20th of December were also found to be peak days for theft, so it could be worth being particularly careful today and tomorrow.

Tips from the company to help people make sure their homes are not vulnerable at this time of year include fitting deadlocks and security bolts to external doors, making sure they have a good quality alarm in place, never leaving their keys in the lock, locking the shed and garage and marking all valuables with UV ink so they can be recovered if stolen.

Head of Churchill Home Insurance Martin Scott remarked: “Whilst home security is unlikely to be at the top of homeowner's minds during the busy festive period it is clear that, as with any other period of the year, our homes remain at risk to burglary.”

You should also do all you can to help protect your homes against weather damage this winter. Make sure your pipes don’t freeze by repairing any dripping taps you might have and ensure that your water pipes and tanks are properly insulated so you can stop them from freezing. It is especially important to check this if you plan to go away at Christmas or in the new year.