The holiday season is a great time for visiting friends and family or for taking a family vacation while the kids are off from school. Unfortunately, it’s also a great time for burglars. During the holiday season, burglars kick into high gear, taking advantage not only of the empty homes people leave behind, but also of the piles of new presents inside those homes. If you’re planning a holiday trip, it’s important to take a few safety precautions to make sure your home stays safe and sound while you’re gone. Here’s what you need to do:
- Don’t post your plans on Facebook. Social networking sites have become a major tool for burglars looking to identify people who will be going on vacation. Instead of posting for all to see, restrict your comments to just a few people you know you can trust, and ask them not to share with anyone else.
- If you’re buying large items this holiday season, break up the boxes, and turn them inside out before putting them out with the trash to avoid advertising the products to burglars prowling your neighborhood.
- Have an alarm company? Use your cell phone as the contact number. Savvy burglars will answer home phones and delay security companies from arriving.
- Put your lights on timers, and consider investing in a “smart” security system that you can control remotely. Wireless systems are easy to install without rewiring your home and allow you to turn lights and TVs on and off so you can give the appearance of being home. Smart locks let you monitor when someone is entering your home, as well.
- Stop newspaper subscriptions, and have your mail held at the post office while you’re gone. Don’t forget to ask a trusted neighbor or friend to keep an eye open for flyers left on your porch that could indicate you’re not home. While you’re at it, consider asking a neighbor to park their second car in your driveway to make it appear like someone is home.
- Invest in window bars that can be used to supplement window locks, many of which can be easily broken by experienced crooks. If you have sliding doors, bars designed specifically for them can add an extra layer of security. Plus, bars are usually visible to burglars, providing them with a visual indication that your home is well secured.
Holiday safety is important whether you’re home or away. These six simple safety precautions will help ensure that your home and possessions stay safe so that you may relax and enjoy your own holiday fun away from home.
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