A well-lit home goes a long way to deterring thieves while you’re out of town.
The holidays mark a fun and festive time for many of us. While mostly for joyful reasons, our lives tend to get even busier during the holiday season. We focus on shopping lists, holiday parties, and what to buy for friends and families. We’re not typically concerned about ramping up our home or office’s security. But just as we’re planning day-long shopping excursions or carving out time to visit family, thieves are making plans of their own.
Today’s home invaders prey on people who have more things to do than sit home and guard their houses. In fact, there’s evidence that thieves actually target homes where no one is occupying them during the day. They will observe or find evidence that the home will be unattended for an afternoon or perhaps for an extended period of time. As such, they are well aware that people travel during the holiday season and may spend considerably less time at home.
That’s why we’ve organized some security tips for this 2021 holiday season. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, thieves will be readying themselves by breaking into homes, garages, and cars. You can make your property less attractive to these criminals by practicing the following security tips and techniques.
Don’t Post Your Plans on Social Media
Many of us love to share enjoyable aspects of our lives on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Unfortunately, even if your account is set to private, some personal information has a way of reaching people you’d prefer not to be aware of your intentions. If you’re going out of town to celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, keep that information to yourself and don’t share it on social media. Once you’re back home, you can share your travel pics and stories. Never post when you’re going to be away from your house as thieves will take it as a personal invitation to help themselves to your television, tablets, and heirloom jewelry. Similarly, don’t share your holiday plans with strangers either.
Use Light Timers or Install Smart Lights
A well-lit home will appear to thieves as if the home is occupied. Naturally, home occupants are deterrents to most criminals. Many locksmith companies specialize in home security services that may involve lighting solutions. You can have your exterior lights and timers professionally installed or you can take the DIY route. The main thing is to ensure that your lights go on in the evening. A dark home tells thieves that no one is there, and that may be enough temptation for a break-in.
Install a Smart Home Security System
A secure Smart Home allows you to control your lights and security system from your smartphone.
A security system is among the best defenses against thieves. The system will alert you and nearby law enforcement that a home invasion is in progress. There are many different types of smart security systems available. Your area locksmith may specialize in their installation or you may opt to hire a professional security company to install their system at your home. Often, a sign in the window that your home is protected by ‘ABC Company’ is enough to send thieves to another address. Plus, with a smart system, you’ll be able to monitor your house while you’re away.
Don’t Hide Your Keys Outside
The days of hiding a spare key under a potted plant or fake rock are gone. Thieves are aware of fake rock products used for hiding house or garage keys. They know to look under doormats or inside mailboxes to hunt for a spare key. If you have invited a family member or friend to visit your home to water your plants or feed the fish, be sure that you give them a key instead of hiding it outside.
Make Sure Your Window and Door Locks Are Secure
Good window and door locks last a long time, but that doesn’t mean yours will. Your locks may need repairs or even replacement. Before the busy holiday season, it’s a good idea to have your locksmith perform an inspection to ensure that your locks are in optimum working condition. If you want to upgrade your locks, your locksmith can recommend the ideal hardware for your home and budget. Talk to them about installing extra security features for downstairs entrances. Don’t overlook things like patio doors or even second-story windows as enterprising thieves aren’t opposed to climbing if they think there’s a chance they can access the home that way.
Keep Gifts Out Of Sight
If you keep your draperies open during the day, be sure that you keep wrapped presents or expensive-looking gifts out of sight. A glance in the window is all it takes for a thief to see that your presents for your entire family are wrapped and placed under the tree. It’s safer to stow your presents where no one peeking through your windows can see them.
Thwart Porch Pirates with a Smart Camera Doorbell
A smart video doorbell will allow you to monitor your home from anywhere with your smartphone.
‘Tis the season of porch pirates—aargh! Sadly, you cannot make them walk the plank if they steal your deliveries, but you can deter them with a smart doorbell and camera. These features allow you to see when you have deliveries, which are quite common this time of year. Some people will also put up displays so that the area near their door isn’t visible from the street. You can post a small sign asking deliverers to place deliveries in a basket so that they don’t invite interest from thieves.
Mind Your Trash
Large-ticket items like flat-screen televisions or big game systems may not fit inside your trash. Never leave these boxes where they can be visible or thieves will know that you have them inside and that they’re new and in mint condition. Boxes and their labels can attract criminals to your house. They may even case your home, waiting for the ideal time to break in when you’re not home.
It’s unfortunate that we have to take so many steps to protect what’s ours, but thieves tend to work overtime during the holiday season. Here are a few other things you can do to safeguard your home and make it less attractive to criminals:
- Post a “Beware of Dog” sign in your window and on your yard fence (use a picture of a ferocious dog even if you don’t have one).
- Tell a trusted neighbor if you plan to travel out of town so they can keep an eye on things for you and remove any packages set in front of your door to hold them until you return.
- Secure your important documents and jewels in a hidden safe that most common burglars would find it difficult to impossible to access.
- Add some accessories to your house while you’re away to make it look like it’s occupied. Put some old boots at the front door so thieves will think someone is home and left their dirty boots outside.
Keep these tips in mind so you can worry less about burglars and enjoy more peace of mind as you celebrate the holidays with family and friends. Remember to consult your locksmith about making hardware upgrades or repairs as needed as your windows and doors are a first line of defense against thieves.