The shopping season before Christmas is the busiest of the year. Unfortunately, it is also one of the busiest times of the year for a different kind of shopper. At a different kind of store. Your home. Burglars don’t take the holidays off, they work overtime. Here are a few tips to help keep your home safe.
1. Deterrence - the most effective form of crime prevention;
The criminals who are looking to break into a home and make Christmas treasures their own are not looking for a challenge. They are looking for easy. So don’t make it easy. Motion sensing floodlights are a great idea and a good start.
2. Christmas lighting - be smart;
Don’t run extension cords through open windows. Use solar or battery operated lights, or better yet install outdoor electrical outlets (GFCI of course!).
3. Don’t advertise your home to burglars on social media!;
Burglars use social media to learn who is not at home. Publishing that you are in some nice sunny spot on Facebook is an invitation for trouble. Pictures of pricey gifts just tells them which where to find the items on their shopping list.
4. Dispose of gift wrapping carefully;
Take your used wrapping paper and boxes to the recycle location near you rather than put it out for the city collectors. That big screen TV box behind the back fence is a giveaway that there are valuables inside your home. Alternatively, set it out just before the collection time.
5. Check doors and windows;
It may seem obvious but it is surprising how many people forget. Be sure to lock your doors and windows. Statistics show that in about 30% of burglaries entrance was gained through a window.
6. Close your curtains and blinds;
Keep the valuables out of sight. If you are going out, close the drapes. Leave a light or two on, or use timers if you are away for an extended period.
7. Going Away? - plan ahead!
While you are away, be sure to cancel the newspaper delivery or have someone check on your home daily to bring in the mail. Having someone park on the driveway or move a car around once in a while is a good idea too. Leave a radio on. And we have already mentioned light timers.
8. Lock the garage and shed;
Not only should the garage and shed be locked, but tools that could be used to gain entry into your home like ladders should be securely stored inside. Put the bikes and gardening tolls away too.
9. Don’t leave keys where they can be found;
Burglars are experts at finding hidden keys so don’t hide keys. Install a combination lock on the door and give the combination or a key to a trusted person. And, don’t forget to turn on the alarm if you have one.