Tips to Prevent Burglaries During the Holidays
According to CNN Money, national burglary rates peak during the summer months, but they also significantly trend upwards in December. People are storing expensive gifts in their homes, sometimes right underneath the tree in plain view from the street. There are packages being left on doorsteps, and notes about family schedules being left on front doors. All of this creates a burglar’s paradise.
In order to best help homeowners secure their home and all of the gifts it contains, we’ve compiled a list of both practical and professional security tips to ensure that your family’s most valuable possession remains safe during the holidays.
Invest in a Home Automation System
Ben Hayden, the community relations officer for Coralville, Iowa, told CNN some valuable holiday home security information. “Every year we see a pretty big uptick in burglaries (during Christmas season),” Hayden told CNN. “Criminals drive through neighborhoods looking for places to burglarize. If the newly fallen snow hasn’t been shoveled, they figure the home is empty.” So, practically speaking, it would be smart to pay someone to clear your driveway if you don’t have the time and will be away.
Also, it would be smart to put your lights on a timer, but even smarter to equip your home with a comprehensive home automation system. With an home automation system, you can turn your lights on and off with your smart phone. This is better than lights on timers because it allows you to switch up the times that your lights come on. A seasoned burglar may notice that the lights are going on and off at the same times every day.
Avoid Posting About Christmas Vacations on Social Media
Broadcasting your vacation to all of your social media followers can be fun, it’s a great way to let old friends know what’s going on with your family. However, it also makes your home very vulnerable to burglars. One survey out of the UK says more than 78 percent of burglars are using social media to find their targets. If the wrong person sees that your house that is filled with presents will be left empty after the holiday, you could very well lose those presents. Outlets like The New York Post, The Associated Press have all written at length about the dangers of posting vacation schedules to social media, and the risk only increases when people know your home is filled with brand new gifts.
Cut Up The Boxes and Packages From Your Expensive Gifts Before Taking Them To The Curb
If you bought a brand new TV, or purchased an expensive Barbie Jeep for your daughter, don’t place the box on the curb for the garbage man. This is like putting a bullseye on your house for burglars, because if they know for a fact that your house contains a new expensive item, they may try to steal it. Instead, cut up the boxes from your gifts and place them in a bag or trash can.
Also, it would be smart to install a CCTV video surveillance system on your property so that you could catch any burglars in a worst case scenario. Installing a video system offers an additional level of protection to your home security system. A professionally installed video surveillance system can record both indoors and outdoors 24×7 with digital recording and remote monitoring capabilities
Keep The Blinds Down if Your Christmas Tree is Visible From the Street
According to CNN, police recommend keeping your blinds down if your Christmas tree is located in a living room that can be easily seen from the street. If your tree is visible from the road, a burglar could see it and get the idea to rob you of the presents underneath the tree. This, like most burglary tips, is hard to stomach, but it’s simply something that will increase the security of your home. Also, make sure that all the locks on your doors are in working order and that you don’t leave any spare keys hidden in the yard during the holidays. Consider installing motion detectors on your property so that you can be alerted to an unwanted presence before they reach the home.