Tree-ditional Brits risk home security at Christmas

14 November 2017

  • 38% of Brits store presents under the Christmas tree
  • 55% don’t consider the security implications of doing so
  • Break-ins are 43% more likely to take place in winter months

Two fifths (38%) of UK adults leave presents under the Christmas tree, making them visible and easy targets for opportunistic thieves, according to a new study released today by Co-op Insurance.*

In fact, Co-op Insurance can reveal that home break-ins are 43% more likely to occur throughout November and December as the nights get darker and homeowners commence their Christmas shopping.**

Despite the increased risk of burglaries, more than half (55%) of UK adults say they don’t consider the security implications of leaving presents under the tree.

Additionally, two fifths (45%) of adults say they do consider the security risks, but enjoy the tradition of leaving presents under the Christmas tree despite this.

Other popular present hiding places include the wardrobe (33%), under the bed (9%) and in the garage or shed (5%).

In addition, UK adults are putting their security at further risk, as a third (31%) said they keep fairy lights on whilst not at home, placing even more spotlight on their valuable gifts – not to mention the fire risk that this poses.

Men were the worst culprits for leaving the tree lights on when not at home with almost three fifths (55%) admitting to the faux pas, compared to half (47%) of women.

Caroline Hunter, Head of Home Insurance at Co-op Insurance commented:

“It’s no surprise that more than two fifths of Brits uphold the long standing tradition of leaving presents under the Christmas tree as is custom for many households.

“Our advice is to store presents and other valuables in a secure location out of view from potential, opportunistic thieves. In the attic, under the stairs or in a large suitcase are good alternatives.”

“We also know that leaving a light on in the house is a key deterrent for burglars. However, fairy lights are a fire hazard and should not be left on whilst unattended. We would suggest leaving a landing light on when out of the house, or installing motion activated security lights. This gives the illusion that there is someone at home without risking safety.”

For peace of mind during the festive period Co-op Insurance automatically increases its customers’ contents cover by 10% in the weeks around Christmas and New Year to allow for the extra gifts and valuables in your home. For more information visit

Media Contacts:

Emily Penkett
Press and Media Relations Manager
Mobile: 07738621201

Rosie Brierley
Press Officer
Mobile: 07834446709

Notes to Editors

Survey conducted among 2000 UK adults by Atomik research on behalf of Co-op Insurance
*Claims data analysed from 2014, comparison between 2 months preceding the start of daylight savings time and 2 months after.

About Co-op Insurance:

Co-op Insurance is part of Co-op Group, one of the world’s largest consumer co-ops, owned by millions of members. Alongside Co-op Insurance, we have the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the UK’s number one funeral services provider, and a developing legal services business.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.