Holiday Home Security Tips
The holidays often bring out the best in people. Generosity abounds as the spirit of the season inspires many to be a little bit kinder. However, not everyone sees the holidays as a time of giving. For burglars, the holidays are the season of taking. Homes full of expensive gifts and houses left empty for holiday travels present tempting, easy targets for intruders who are looking for a rich treasure trove.
This season, keep your home and family secure by considering these holiday safety tips. These basic rules of thumb can help prevent an unfortunate incident that could cast a shadow over the brightness of the holiday!
The Importance of Presentation
As burglars decide where to strike, they consider the appearance of a home as one of the first criteria for their choice. A home that looks empty will make an easier target, especially if it seems the tenants will be gone for a while. Maintaining a lived-in look can keep thieves at bay.
Put your newspaper delivery on hold. Piles of uncollected newspapers outside a home are a clear indication of an unoccupied residence. Most newspaper services will gladly halt delivery for a specified amount of time.
Ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to collect your mail from your mailbox. Burglars often check mailboxes to see if the mail has accumulated for some time. If no one can pick up your mail while you are gone, ask the post office to put a temporary hold on your mail delivery.
Dispose of any clues that your home contains expensive items. If you have recently purchased a television, a computer, or other pricey objects, be certain to discard the boxes. Move bicycles and toys out of sight.
If you have a lawn, mow the grass before you go and trim your landscape so it looks recently cared for. An overgrown yard highlights a family’s absence.
Don’t leave your outdoor lights lit all the time. Use motion-sensing lights, or lights on a programmed timer. Timers also make handling your holiday lighting easy!
Additional Security and Holiday Safety
Holiday home safety is a task best accomplished with help. No matter how diligently you have prepared your home for your vacation, there is no substitute for extra sets of eyes watching over your property. Enlisting assistance in watching over your home will pay off.
Alert your neighborhood watch that your home will be empty while you are on vacation. This will allow them to give your house a bit of extra vigilance. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a watch program, consider founding one.
Ask your local police department if they offer home vacation checks. Many departments will gladly ask an officer to drive by your house while you are gone.
When you call about the home vacation check, inquire about having a police officer inspect your house for places where you can make it more secure.
Consider having a home alarm system installed. Security systems provide the benefit of professional monitoring while you are away. Security companies offer affordable plans, and many have holiday specials designed so home owners can take advantage of the added holiday safety while they are gone.
The House, Inside and Out
Your home is designed to keep both the elements and unwanted intruders out. Unfortunately, many simple factors can compromise your home’s security. Poor locks, insecure windows, and improperly installed decorations can all make it easier for a burglar to enter your home.
Fake rocks and flowerpots outside a door are easily anticipated places to store a spare key. Home intruders expect the occupants of houses to store their emergency keys in places convenient to the doors. Give your spare key to a trusted neighbor instead.
Burglars look for ease of entry into homes and insecure portals provide excellent opportunities for a determined home intruder to enter. Christmas light strands run through a window and into a home outlet may prevent that window from locking correctly. Use an outdoor outlet to plug in light strands. If you don’t have one, consider having one installed.
Upgrade the locks on your doors and windows. Install bump-resistant locks, to prevent the all-too-easy technique of lock bumping as a means of entry. Heavy duty locks prevent easy breaking and longer screws in the strike plates assist in keeping your doors secure.
Christmas trees in front of windows, with gifts piled around them, look beautiful and festive. They are also a very tempting display for burglars. Gifts placed conveniently to a window are easy targets for a smash-and-grab theft.
The Small Stuff
Holiday safety isn’t only about the big things, such as new locks and upkept lawns. Little touches matter when it comes to your house’s holiday safety as well. These easily overlooked steps can make a tremendous difference.
Don’t paint your name on your mailbox, or the front of your home. Burglars can use this information to ascertain how long you will be gone by calling directory assistance for your telephone number, or using your name to socially engineer entry.
Voicemail messages which reference your vacation are fun but they may give a burglar too much information. If a home intruder has acquired your number using your address, a descriptive phone message may tell them that they have plenty of time to break in.
Motion sensing lights are a good tool for home security. However, if they aren’t properly tuned, their purpose may be defeated. A motion detecting light that always goes off when a raccoon wanders by will be ignored. One that goes off only when people walk by gets attention.
There’s still time before the holidays to have a security system installed! SafeTouch systems are a convenient, affordable way to secure your home for the holidays. Many of our systems include door entry sensors, security cameras and mobile monitoring for security on the go. Contact us today for more information about how we can help keep your holidays merry!