Christmas season is the best time of the year. It’s a time for family, friends, and lots of merriment. Sadly, statistics also indicate that burglaries around this time of the year spike exponentially. This has a lot to do with the fact that burglars are aware that there are lots of gifts in the house and probably extra money lying around. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over 400,000 burglaries take place during the holiday season.
Keeping all of that in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips for you to protect your home and keep it secure during the holidays.
1. Put Your Lights on a Timer
Another quirk that burglars are known for is getting down the perfect time to break into a home. They do this by waiting for signs of inactivity or absence of occupants. One tell-tale sign that broadcasts that no one is home is when the lights are off.
That’s why you should put your Christmas lights, as well as some lights on the interior and exterior of your home on a timer. With these lights on, a burglar won’t feel so sure about the fact that your house is empty.
2. Create the Illusion of Someone Home
Beyond setting your lights on a timer, you can also set the television and radio on a timer to create the typical noise and flickering lights of an average family home at night. But wait, that’s not all! Leave a car in the driveway. Arrange for someone to mow at least once a week (an unruly lawn is as bad as a pile of mail). During the winter, arrange for snow removal in case of a storm (neighborhood kids are great for this, if you get their parents’ word that they’ll remember). If you normally leave toys outside, or keep a hose unrolled, or do anything that shows signs of a home being lived in, don’t tidy up too much before you leave.
Unplug all unnecessary appliances (except those on timers, of course) to protect your home from an electrical fire or power surge. This goes for the big stuff, like TVs, but also for your toaster, your coffee maker, and other small appliances.
4. Hide the Hide-a-Key
It’s impossible to forget your key if you’re not even home, so go ahead and take any hidden spare keys out of commission. Just don’t forget to re-hide them when you return!
5. Make Use of Motion Sensors
Motion sensors trip when they detect movement around a certain perimeter. They can activate lights, or an alarm. Setting up motion sensors on your property is a good way to effectively deter anyone from breaking into your home.
6. Secure Your Home
Last but not least, make sure your home is secure during the holiday season. Check your windows and doors to make sure all locks are intact. If you don’t have one already, invest in a home security system which will protect your home and your family.
Christmas season is a merry and busy time. Unfortunately, burglars and thieves try to cash in on the spoils of the season by burglarizing homes. For this reason, you should take proper steps to ensure that your home is secure from all possible threats. By taking these steps, you can effectively reduce the chances of becoming a victim to a burglary.
7. Be Careful About Disposing of Packaging
If you’ve gotten gifts during the holiday season, you may get so caught up with enjoying them that you don’t pay attention to disposing of the packaging. If you put the packaging out in the trash, which will then be sitting by the curb waiting to be picked up, you’re basically telling the whole world what sort of gifts are inside.
Burglars are always on the lookout for such garbage items. That’s why you need to be very careful about disposing the packaging.
8. Keep Your Cool
Turn down (or up) the thermostat to save on electricity while you’re gone. In the winter, set the heat to about 55° – warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing, but cool enough to save – and during the summer, set your air-conditioning to 85°. You can also lower the temperature on your water heater.
9. Safe-Keep Your Valuables
Lock up jewelry, the deed to your home, wills, and any other valuables or sensitive documents in a fire-proof safe.
10. Make Sure Gifts Aren’t Visible From Outside
It’s such a common sight during this time of the year – a frosted window from which you can see a beautiful Christmas tree all lit up, with dozens of gifts underneath it. This sight is enough to make a potential burglar size up your house. With all those gifts in plain sight, how are they supposed to resist?
That’s why you need to make sure that your tree and the gifts underneath it are not visible from outside. Remove temptation and you reduce the chances of becoming a burglary victim.