Christmas is a wonderful time for family celebrations. Many families travel to visit other relatives during Christmas vacation. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also an attractive time for thieves when houses are empty and filled with new gifts. To protect your home, you need to think about ways to make it less of a temptation for thieves.
Leave the TV on While You’re Away
Most burglars are opportunists. They do not want to risk being caught or confronting a homeowner. If they are not sure if the house is empty, they will probably stay away. Leaving the television on if you are away for an evening or an overnight gives the impression that someone is home. If you can have your TV turn on with a timer, it can increase the power of the illusion.
More and more homeowners see security systems as a basic part of home care. Thieves will stay away from active outdoor cameras. Professional security system packages often come with camera options and for those that don’t, they can usually be purchased separately. An audible alarm is also an important tool for sending thieves running. Most importantly, a full security system will summon a police officer or security guard to your home if a problem is suspected. DIY cameras can also be purchased. These systems can alert you when someone walks in front of the camera.
Don’t Let the Mail Pile Up
If you are going to be away for more than a day or two, you need to think about your mail. An easy solution is having the post office put a hold on your mail delivery so no mail builds up in the box. However, if thieves are monitoring your neighborhood, they may take a constantly empty mailbox as a sign of vacancy. If you have a neighbor you trust, have that person collect your mail and hold it for you. Christmas is also a time when many packages arrive. Have a neighbor collect your packages while you are away or ask the shipping company to hold it until you get back, or drop it off at your local post office.
Light It Up
Many people remember the classic scene in the movie Home Alone where the bandits watch as timers turn on the lights of each empty house on the street. Lights discourage thieves as they do not want to enter an occupied home; however, the same lights going on at the same time can be a sign that no one is home. Today, there are more options for controlling your lights. There are even light switches you can control remotely through a phone app. This allows you to turn different lights on and off at different times each evening you are away.
If you decorate your home for Christmas, think about security as well as beauty. For example, if you power your grand display with extension cords that run through a slightly open window, you are providing an opportunity for entry. Your power supply should come from outdoor outlets. If you want to put large decorations outside on your lawn, consider using zip ties to tie them down or use some kind of lock so they can stay secure. This will make them harder to steal.
Watch What You Share Online
In these days of social media, it is easy to share pictures of your Christmas vacation. It is also easy for smart thieves to learn your name and follow what you share publicly. Your social media accounts can be a big clue as to whether or not you are home. Do not make public posts about when you are leaving or returning. Do not share vacation photos in a public forum until you are back home. Also, pay attention to people who try to make connections with you at this time of year. If you don’t know who they are or how they might be connected to you, ignore the request until after your Christmas vacation.
With a few wise precautions, you can make certain that you have a safe and secure home for the holiday season.
Christmas season isn’t the only time robberies can occur. Become prepared for the worst now with these 6 ways you can integrate home security into your decorating.