A 9% increase in burglaries means it has become the biggest fear for 22% of UK homeowners over the Christmas period, according to research from HomeServe Labs.
The second biggest fear is a water leak causing damage (17%) ahead of fire causing damage to the home (15%), the boiler breaking (14%) and power cuts (13%).
This year, 68% of UK consumers will be spending the festive period at home with family, but fears increase for the 32% spending Christmas away from home.
HomeServe Labs’ top 5 tips to alleviate fears over Christmas are:
1. Make your home looks like someone is living in it
Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights and radios on when it goes dark and cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries. Avoid discussing holiday plans on public social networking sites - burglars can use any information you post on there to their advantage.
2. Create a power-outage kit
Prepare for winter power failures by pulling together emergency kit complete items such as an electric torch, batteries, food, water and blankets.
3. Protect against leaks
Water leaks are the second biggest problems people report in claims to insurers in the world. Ensure you are protected by looking out for tell tale signs and consider turning off the stop valve of the water supply where it comes into the home. For smaller leaks that are harder to detect but can cause significant damage over time you should consider leak alarms or speak to a home assistance provider.
4. Curb unanticipated winter emergencies with extra protection
Water pipes that are not properly drained, or left unused during the winter, can freeze, expand and possibly burst. Take proactive measures such as checking and insulating the cold water lines near exterior walls or in crawl spaces.
5. Check the heating system
A strong, short-lasting smell is common when starting up the heating system for the first time in the season, but if that odd smell lasts or reoccurs, shut down the system immediately and call a professional.
Nick Lobban, SVP of operations at HomeServe Labs, said: “The holiday season is something that many people look forward to, but it can also cause angst. The last thing people need is a burglary while they are away or a problem in the home.
"Homeowners can benefit from looking into the latest connected home technologies now that can help prevent burglaries and leaks happening to help ensure a stress free Christmas period. By careful planning – from having a household MOT check before people come to stay – you can make sure everything is in order so you can focus on having a horror free holiday and enjoy the things that really matter.”