Winter is an ideal time for homeowners to improve their property's security and protect the contents of their homes, according to Halifax Home Insurance.
The company's head of underwriting, David Rochester, said that dark nights at this time of year provide criminals with cover to break into homes, while Christmas gifts also give burglars a greater incentive to strike.
Because of this, Mr Rochester suggested that the use of security lights and key-operated window locks could deter criminals from approaching a property, while an alarm should also be used.
He added: "Keep valuable items out of sight. Expensive items such as mp3 players, jewellery, mobile phones and car keys left in full view near windows are an open invitation to burglars."
Recent research by Liverpool Victoria found that 15 million people leave expensive possessions on display in their homes, while the average property has £25,000 worth of contents inside.
In addition, the study claimed that burglary and theft account for 36 per cent of crime in the UK.
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