Thursday, November 5, 2015 / by Vanessa Saunders
Nothing can ruin the holidays more than a break-in. The loss of property, the damage to your home, and the sense of loss can be traumatic. The good news is that there are a number of steps that can be taken to protect your home and your family during the holiday season and provide a greater peace of mind when you get away to celebrate.
- Be consistent with your holiday lights. It's a lot of fun to decorate the outside of your home with a holiday display. However, if you have plans to go away, make sure that your outside lights are on a timer so that you don't advertise that you are aren't home. You may want to consider keeping the decorations to a minimum if you plan to go out of town and skip the lights this year, but it helps to have some décor so that the house does not stand out in the neighborhood.
- Give your house that lived-in look. If you and your family have travel plans, make sure that you have made arrangements for the mail, package deliveries, snow removal or yard work, and that inside lights are on timers and are turning on and off. You may want to ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your home and possibly even park a car in your driveway.
- Be careful with your trash. Your trash can make you a target for a break-in. Boxes from high ticket items like televisions, electronics and jewelry can give clues to thieves about what may be in your home. Break the boxes down and put them in trash bags or recycling instead of piling them up at the curb.
- Be careful with your social media. Make sure that you do not post your travel plans online, which would provide detailed information about when you will be gone and for how long. Also, be careful regarding what gifts you are purchasing for your family. Beware about "checking in" online when you are attending social events. This also advertises when you are not at home.
- Use "sign" language. Even if you don't have a dog or a home security system, posting signs to that effect can act as an additional deterrent to thieves.
- Disable your garage door openers. Unplug the garage door openers when you leave on your holiday vacation. This prevents anyone with a universal remote from gaining access to your home.
- Safely store your valuables. For added protection, safely store your valuables like expensive jewelry, coins and other collectibles in a safe or bank's safe deposit box before you leave. That way if there is a break in, you will have an additional level of security.
- Install a home security system. Consider having a professional home security company install a system in your home. Not only will it monitor the home for theft, but can keep an eye on it for fire and flood as well.
We hope that you have a safe and wonderful holiday season!