17 Dec 7 Tips to Keep Your Home and Family Safe For The Holidays
The holidays are a time of love and forgiveness, of gift-giving and merriment. Of course, the holidays are also a time where there is a lot of money floating around, and a time where criminals start circling, looking for a way to take advantage of the holiday spirit. If you want to keep your home, and your loved ones, safe this season, here are some simple tips you should remember to follow.
Tip #1: Always Lock Up
While it seems like the most basic safety precaution you can take, a lot of homeowners simply forget to lock up during the holidays. This is particularly true if you’ve got a lot of family members staying over, and it’s just easier to leave the doors unlocked rather than to constantly get up and head to the front door. If you get in the habit of not locking up, though, it can leave you vulnerable.
Tip #2: Keep an Eye on Your Garage
Garages are a favorite point of entry for burglars. So, even if your front door is snug and secure, that doesn’t do you any good if your garage door is wide open, and they can just walk right on into your house. You should also make sure to lock the door from the garage into the house.
Tip #3: Always Get Eyes on Your Home
If you’re traveling for the holidays, as a lot of us do, make sure you tell your neighbors. Having someone keep an eye on your home, and checking on your pets and plants, can be a great way to catch any suspicious activity before it gets serious. Try to keep your home looking like you are still there. You can do that by making sure your mail or newspapers do not build up. Also if you have your lights on a schedule it can keep up appearances. If you live where it could snow, it can also help to have someone shovel your driveway so it isn’t so obvious that no one has come and gone. You can also keep a car parked in your driveway.
Tip #4: Don’t Advertise Your Presents
If you’ve recently given or received expensive gifts, then make sure you don’t advertise the fact. Leaving cardboard boxes on the curb for pick-up that tell the world you just got a bunch of new electronics is a great way to draw the attention of thieves looking for an easy score. Either cart your boxes straight to a centralized recycling facility, or cover them up, in order to hide what you have in your home.
Tip #5: If You Have an Alarm System, Don’t Forget to Use it
Burglar alarms are a lot like locks; if you don’t use them, then what’s the point? Modern alarms come with easy-to-use features, like being able to activate or de-activate them from your smartphone, as well as being able to tap into your home’s camera feed to see what’s going on. Putting features like that to use can provide you with serious peace of mind, and let you get back to enjoying the good things about the holiday season. Test your alarm system regularly to be sure that when you need it, it will work when it counts.
Tip #6: Make Burglars Look Hard for Valuables
Most of the time, if a home is burglarized thieves only take what’s readily available. That’s why it’s important to make your valuables as difficult to find, and as difficult to take, as possible. That means keeping jewelry in an out-of-the-way location, or kept secure in a home safe. The harder something is to find, the less likely it is that someone’s going to steal it.
Tip #7: Don’t Hide Spare Keys Outside
Being locked out of your house is a terrible occurrence, but hiding keys outside can be an invitation to burglary. Professional criminals know all the usual hiding places, and will check everywhere from inside nearby shutters to the underside of yard decorations to see if there’s a hiding hole. If you’re really worried about getting locked out, it might be a good idea to switch to keypad locks where you can keep the key in your head instead of your pocket. You can also get a deadbolt that you can control from your smartphone, even better!