Holiday Safety & Security Tips
The weeks leading up to the Holidays are the biggest shopping days of the year, and for many retailers’ accounts for 75% of their annual revenue. Stocking our homes with the latest electronic gadgets, computers, and jewelry is just tradition. Unfortunately, it also provides thieves with the perfect incentive to commit burglaries to steal your presents!
Whether you are staying home, or traveling away this holiday season, find out how to keep your home and loved ones safe.
1. Suspend your mail delivery and newspaper subscriptions
A dead giveaway to a burglar that your home is unoccupied for the winter is a full mailbox and a ton of newspapers piling up on the driveway. If you can't suspend the deliveries, ask a neighbor or house sitter to periodically collect them for you.
2. Create the illusion that you are still home
If you plan on being away from home for an extended amount of time, arrange for a neighbor to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Do not to leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages. Leave a radio on to create the impression that someone is home. Make use of light timers, inside and out.
3. Secure Garages & Sheds
Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around, or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bicycles and gardening equipment.
4. Arm Your Security System in Away Mode
Remember to arm your security system during the day when you are out. Burglars prefer to target homes between the hours of 10:00am and 3:00pm, when most families are not home. Make sure yours is on and protecting your home.
5. Install or Repair Exterior Lighting
This is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home's exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar. They do not want to be seen.
6. Secure Your Festive Lighting
A common mistake of many festive homeowners is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights if you cannot access any external electrical outlets.
7. Dispose of Gift Packaging Carefully
Do not bring out your large high-def TV boxes to the curb right away. Try to put your holiday garbage out just before the collection. Break apart boxes so that they do not advertise your new TV’s and tablets to the criminals who will cruise down streets to literally “window shop”.
8. Check Doors and Windows for Weak Spots.
Statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially.
9. Don't Hide Keys Outside
Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don't hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbor.
10. Keep Your Curtains & Blinds Closed
Make sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy.
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