The holidays are a fun and joyous time of year, but they can also make your home vulnerable to home break-ins and theft. Below are a few tips that you can follow to help you keep your home and loved ones safe during the holidays.
1. Install a Video Security System
Installing a video security system is a first line of defense for monitoring and protecting your home and loved ones. A video security system with strategically placed security cameras, along with a DVR or NVR that records video is a homeowner’s biggest ally when it comes to home security. A high quality, high-resolution video security system provides facial recognition and court-admissible evidence needed to catch and convict thieves.
Home security cameras can be mounted and placed around the interior and exterior or your home to monitor high traffic areas and known trouble spots. Security cameras enable you to keep an eye on front and back doors, garages, and driveways; along with living rooms, and safe rooms and other interior rooms where valuables are kept, while you are at home sleeping and while you are away.
Hidden cameras, when combined with a video security system, provide an extra layer of protection for your home. Thieves are most likely to break into or burglarize your home when they don’t know they are being watched. Hidden cameras blend into nearly any environment, and are virtually undetectable for effective covert surveillance.
Video security systems that can be monitored and viewed remotely from a mobile device or smartphone provide additional peace-of-mind while you are away from home.
2. Don’t Forget About a Porch Camera
Package piracy is on the rise, and package theft is a very common occurrence during the busy holiday season. Front porches are especially vulnerable, and your holiday package deliveries placed on your front porch are an easy target for thieves.
Installing an outdoor night vision camera or IR camera on your porch to monitor activity day and night helps deter theft. A porch camera also provides effective security and can produce the video evidence needed to identify and convict package thieves and criminals.
3. Keep Your Home Well-Lit
A well-lit home is a better protected home. Make sure you have adequate lighting for your front, back and side yards, along with garages, porches, and driveways.
Motion detection flood lights are a great option. These lights are triggered by motion and turn on when activity is detected. Motion detection lighting is a strong theft and home burglary deterrent.
You can also install a timer that alternately turns different lights (as well as electronics such as TVs and radios) on and off throughout your home while you are gone. This can make it look like someone is home—and make them think twice about targeting your home.
4. Lock All Doors and Windows
Many thieves enter a home through an unlocked door or window, so keeping your doors and windows locked at all times is a no-brainer. This means also locking your door when you are taking out the trash, going to get the mail, or running errands.
Thieves look for opportunities that provide easy access and leave your home and valuables vulnerable.
For added security you can install strong deadbolts on front and back doors, along with reinforced plates and screws to fortify your door, and prevent thieves from being able to easily kick in your door to enter and burglarize your home.
5. Trim Outdoor Landscaping
Keep landscaping around your home manicured, especially near doors, windows and other potential entryways for thieves. Thieves love overgrown shrubbery and trees that hide their activity. Trim all landscaping that obstructs a clear view of your home from the street, or from neighbor’s homes.
6. Hide Your Valuables
Many home break-ins and burglaries happen during the day while you are at work and away from your home. Always keep valuables and high-ticket items out of sight to avoid enticing thieves.
Keep expensive items like TVs, entertainment centers, computers, gaming consoles, and jewelry away from windows, and keep the blinds or drapes closed while you are out.
You’ll also want to keep lawn equipment and snow blowers out of sight and in a locked garage or shed—to further avoid putting your valuables at risk and experiencing theft.
Never leave packages, your vehicle GPS, cell phones, cash, or any other enticing items in your vehicle if it’s parked in the driveway, or on the street. These “quick-grab” items are a favorite target of criminals and thieves.
7. Never Advertise Your Holiday on Social Media
Thieves look for opportunities, and they are using social media to help them commit their crimes. Do not post your vacation plans, or your holiday photos on social media while you are away.
Many thieves look for posts on Facebook and other social media sites stating that you are gone on vacation or holiday – which gives them an open invitation to pay a visit while you’re not there, break in, and burglarize your home.
8. Don’t Leave Notes on the Door
If you are expecting a visitor, or a package delivery, never leave a note on the front door stating you will be back in a few minutes, or a message for a delivery driver to leave the package at the door. The note is a welcome sign for thieves and criminals to enter your home, or take your delivered packages that have been left outside of the door.
9. Pick Up Mail and Newspapers
If you are out of town, have a neighbor or friend pick up your mail and newspapers. An overstuffed mailbox or multiple newspapers on the porch or lawn can let thieves know you are away.
If no one can pick up your mail or newspapers, you can also request a stop service with your post office or paper carrier while you are gone, and resume service once your return home.
10. Heat Your Home Safely
If you use a portable heater, space heater, fireplace, or electric blanket during the winter months to provide warmth—make sure that you never leave these items running unattended. Additionally, don’t keep fires burning in the fireplace overnight while you sleep.
You’ll also want to ensure that your home smoke alarms have fresh batteries and are working properly, in order to warn you of a potential fire. Carbon monoxide detectors are also important. You can also install carbon monoxide detectors to warn you of any carbon monoxide gas in your home.
Keeping Your Home Safe
Incorporating many of the tips above can help you keep your home and loves ones safe from break-ins, theft, and harm. A well-monitored, fortified home is a much safer home. Taking steps to ensure your home is not a target for thieves provides protection during the holidays—and throughout the year.