The holiday season is upon us and with all the visiting, decorating, shopping and celebrating, we sometimes forget about home security just when we need it most.
According to the FBI, close to 400,000 burglaries take place in the United States between November and December each year. It seems criminals shop for the holidays, too… only they do it by stealing from you! Below are a few things you can do to lower the risk of your house becoming a statistic.
Alarms & Lights
Criminals love the dark. And these long winter nights give them more hours of darkness to do their work. Take away the darkness and you’ll most likely deter the criminals. Here’s how:
Turn on the lights. Motion lights are ideal as they can startle a burglar before they get too close.
In-home alarm system. These systems are monitored 24/7 by the security company you choose, so they work for you when you’re away. Don’t forget to display the sticker on doors to show your home is protected.
Use security surveillance cameras. Simple systems can be purchased from many retailers and are easily installed.
When You Are Away
An empty house is very attractive to criminals. Try not to make it obvious that you are away by having newspapers and mail accumulate in front of your house. Either ask a neighbor to collect the mail or consider stopping delivery if you will be away for an extended length of time. Other steps you can take include:
Contact your local police department. Many communities provide additional patrols of your neighborhood if you request it.
Request help from neighbors. Ask your neighbors to periodically park in your driveway and pay someone to shovel snow.
Avoid vacation announcements. Do not use social media sites to announce that you will be gone on vacation. Depending on your privacy settings, you may be announcing your plans to strangers looking for vacant homes.
Use timers. Consider putting interior lights on timers that will turn on at dusk.
Big ticket items like televisions, computers and music systems make great gifts, but they are also very attractive to burglars. A few tips to help conceal these from a burglar include:
Avoid announcements of purchases. Don’t announce expensive purchases on social media sites or store them in areas that are visible through windows. If criminals read about or see your purchases, they’ll be tempted to come after them.
Disposal of packaging. That big, bright box out by the street lets everyone know that its contents are now inside your house. Cut down large boxes from expensive items and put them in the bottom of your recycle bin.
The holiday season is a perfect time to get in the habit of protecting your home when you’re away. Next time you’re on vacation or traveling to a meeting or corporate training event, these good habits will pay off.
What other ideas do you have to protect your home from burglars? Leave a comment and let us know.