The happiest season of all, can quickly turn into a nightmare if you become complacent with your home defense. Reports of theft skyrocket during the holidays. The post-holiday weeks are no exception. Porch pirates and car thieves are one thing, but now we must turn our attention to your home. Your safe place. How do you ward off burglars?
Keeping New Presents & Toys Safe
For starters, focus on the new gifts themselves. These are the targets. It starts by not forewarning everyone about them in the first place, like posting boastful images on Facebook or Instagram.
Hide the Evidence
One of the biggest mistakes we see every year is the disposal of large boxes directly to the curb. Most boxes have pictures or descriptions of what was originally inside them, alerting strangers to the brand-new items you now have in your home. Avoid this potentially costly mistake by breaking down all boxes and disposing of them discreetly into the recycling bin or opaque garbage bags.
Don’t Flaunt Expensive Toys
It’s normal for you and your kids to want to show off to friends and family, but expensive items should only be shared with people you trust and not displayed on social media or to people in your neighborhood (unless they are in your trust circle).
It goes without saying, but locking all your windows and doors is the best way to prevent a post-holiday break in. If you or a member of your family is used to leaving the doors open, then prioritize safety during the holidays and keep both your house doors, car doors, and windows locked at all times. We also recommend closing all curtains or blinds before leaving or turning in for the night. If possible, having a secondary lock on doors and windows (deadbolts, window pins, etc.) is always a good idea.
We understand that not everyone is able to install smart lights, locks, cameras, and doorbells, but it is vital to at least have motion-activated or timer-based lighting outside the home. Keeping your house illuminated, especially when you’re away, is a simple way to deter intruders. If you’re able to do so though, we recommend installing the following:
- Motion-activated/timer-based/smart lighting inside and outside
- Security cameras
- Smart doorbell
- Alarm system
As an added layer of protection, consider checking your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy for theft coverage. Create an inventory by taking pictures of everything new, including images of any serial numbers and/or product information. Engraving items is a unique yet smart way to help identify them in case of theft.
Maintain Standard Security Routines
In addition to being on your guard immediately following the holiday season, be sure to maintain your standard security routines.
- Do not leave any ladders out. Lock them away safely inside your home, garage or shed.
- Always be aware of your surroundings.
- Do not allow trees or bushes to block any doors or windows. Keep them trimmed to maintain visibility both inside and out. This will also prevent criminals from hiding behind these obstructions.
- Close/lock all windows before leaving and at the very least any first floor windows before going to bed (if you feel your second story windows are safe)
- Remain vigilant and cautious of strangers coming to your door.
- If you must keep a spare key outside your home somewhere, do not place it under the doormat, in the mailbox or under planters. Rocks that double as a hide-a-key are not necessarily the best option either.
Lights, camera, action! There are so many options for home security these days; it’s almost silly not to take advantage, especially during the holidays. Just remember, the easiest way to not become a target is by not drawing attention to yourself or your new holiday gifts.
When you’re certain about the safety of your home, you won’t have a hard time settling in for the holiday surrounded by the people you love. So, prioritize safety this season and do what’s necessary to make the holiday as blissful and merry as possible.