This is the worst time of the year for home security, as dark nights and homeowners going out more makes it easier for thieves to attack without being caught.

What’s more, houses are now full of opened Christmas presents, which means burglars are able to steal brand new, expensive items simply by breaking into the living room and walking away with bags of pricey gifts.

However, one way to deter thieves from targeting your home is to hire driveway experts in Lancashire to install a gravel path outside your house.

According to SunLife, this is very effective at putting burglars off, due to the noise made when walking over gravel.

“If it’s ‘noisy’ to enter your garden, that can also discourage would-be thieves, so putting down gravel can help,” the insurance provider stated.

This would be a very worthwhile investment, as British households typically spend 32 per cent more in the run-up to Christmas, with gifts, food and drink typically costing them £800 more in December than any other month of the year, the Express reported.

Therefore, burglars could walk away with items that are more expensive if they attack during the festive period or afterwards.

Director of general insurance at SunLife Simon Stanney said: “With all the Christmas presents in people’s homes – often including all the latest gadgets as well as expensive items like jewellery and watches  – combined with the fact we tend to go out more around Christmas leaving our homes unattended, it is perhaps no real surprise that thieves plot to take advantage, with burglaries and thefts up by around 20 per cent over the Christmas period.”

As well as helping to deter thieves from your home, gravel is a good solution for homes that have lots of traffic up and down their drives, as wear and tear is minimal, plus it is one of the cheapest options when it comes to driveways.