Home For The Holidays
For many of us, the holiday season is often a time spent away from home visiting cherished family and friends. Unfortunately, burglars usually don’t take vacations, and you don’t want to risk having your holiday ruined by returning home to a house that’s been broken into. To help provide some holiday peace of mind, we urge you to take a few precautions before leaving.
HAVE SOMEONE KEEP AN EYE ON THINGS
Ask a family member or trusted neighbor to check the exterior of your house occasionally for anything that looks suspicious, and give them your cell number for contact in case of any emergency. They’re your first line of defense while you’re gone, and you can return the favor when they’re away.
LOCK UP AND LOOK FOR WEAK SPOTS
Make sure all doors and windows are securely locked, and check potential weak spots. If your basement has an exterior door, make sure it’s locked on the inside, not padlocked on the outside. If you have an automatic garage door opener, consider disconnecting it temporarily. And you might install a deadbolt or padlock on one or both of the door tracks for extra security.
ADVERTISE YOUR HOME SECURITY
If you have a home security system, make sure you have plenty of signs posted to let thieves know. No security system? Either buy some video camera surveillance stickers and post them on windows to make it look like you have one—or get in touch with some local companies and consider installing a security system.
AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s a great temptation to share your holiday fun with friends on social media, but consider who you’re broadcasting that information to. Check your privacy settings or just wait until you return to start posting.
REMOVE THAT SPARE KEY
Despite your best efforts, determined breakers-in can find that hidden outdoor spare key, so leave it with the person who’s watching your house.
TAKE CARE OF THE MAIL AND NEWSPAPER
Mail and newspapers piling up are a sure sign no one’s home. Stop the delivery of both before leaving, or add it to the list of tasks you can ask your kind friend or neighbor to take care of for you.
To avoid a perpetually dark house—another sign that you’re away—install some timers that turn lamps, radios, and television sets on and off at random times. You don’t want those appliances operating at exactly the same time every day.
MAKE A CHECKLIST
Finally, prepare your own security checklist, and make sure you’ve checked off every item before you leave. Then have a wonderful holiday!