Brits are most likely to have their homes broken into in the month of December – often when celebrating elsewhere with loved ones.
According to figures from UK Crime stats, in December 2018 there were 257,290 claims of reported antisocial behaviour and burglaries in the UK.
And in a survey of 2,000 Brits by Swift Direct Blinds, nearly three quarters (73%) of homeowners raised concerns that their home security levels are not as adequate as they could be, especially when away from their property over the Christmas period.
So how can Brits improve their home security? In the hit film Home Alone, its star McCauley Culkin uses ingenious ways to protect his home from unwanted Christmas visitors.
Of course, most of the deterrents used in the film are not advisable to test at home in reality.
In fact, the damage caused to the iconic Home Alone property by protagonist Kevin McCallister, as well as the damage sustained to their neighbour’s property by on-screen burglar duo Wet Bandits – Marv Murchins and Harry Lyme (played by Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci), amounted to a significant sum of money, analysis by Swift Direct Blinds found.
The 4,250 square foot, three-storied home featured in the film is located at 671 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois, and sold in 2012 for ($1.60m) £1.23m.
Although the damage carried out was purely fictional, the chaos caused within the 1 hour 43 minute-film would have added up to a staggering £8,900 repair bill, according to Carl Goulding from trade-finding service MyBuilder.
The innovative booby-traps set up to deter Harry and Marv included a heated doorknob and a tar-covered staircase, which would have cost about £100 and £700, respectively, to clean up.
Then there were the flying paint cans which when combined with the glue and feathers Kevin coated the burglar duo in, could add up to approximately £3,000, due to the paint and varnish damage to the floorboards and walls.
In addition to this, there was the hefty price tag of their neighbours flooded basement – about £2,200 – plus £1,800 worth of general damage to the property, including broken shelves, dents to the walls and blow torch scorches, and a much needed deep clean of the property that would have to come to about £600.
While this level of damage is highly unlikely to occur in real life, burglaries and the disturbances that come with them can and do lead to hefty bills and significant inconvenience for owners.
David Roebuck at Swift Direct Blinds, said: “Protecting your home is hugely important, especially around Christmas time when we’re away from home more than we usually would be, and of course there are plenty of presents lying around too.
“Making it appear as though someone is home – even when they’re not – is one such method. Other options include smart doorbells, home monitoring systems, lighting and appliance controls via your phone ... Ensuring you’re extra vigilant and bringing in as many methods of securing your home as you can is key.
“As well as looking out for friends, family and neighbours as much as possible is the best way to avoid the house-related problems facing the McCallisters in the movie.”