While the holidays can certainly bring tidings of good cheer, they can also lead to some unwanted visitors. According to the FBI, nearly 400,000 burglaries occur annually in the US during November and December alone. This is partially due to the high amount of people traveling away from home this time of year. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to help keep your home a little safer.
Don’t tell all your “friends” when you’re out of town.
It’s tempting to share all about your exciting holiday vacation on Facebook or Instagram, but that type of information can easily end up in the wrong hands. Letting your community know that you’re in Hawaii for a week also means telling them that your home is likely open and you won’t be around to check on things. If you can’t resist sharing, then try to wait until you’re back to post.
Whether you’re planning on vacationing or not, consider adjusting your security/privacy settings within your social media profiles so that your posts are non-public and viewable only by your approved friends.
Ask a neighbor to get your mail and take care of the trash.
Depending how long you’ll be out of town, consider asking a neighbor to check on things every couple of days. Burglars can easily tell when a resident’s out of town by a full mailbox or trash cans that stay roadside long after their scheduled pick-up day.
Even better, if you’ve got neighbors close by, then have them park in your drive way for a night or two. The more the cars move, the better!
According to a recent study by the University of North Carolina, about 60% of burglars indicated that the presence of a home alarm system would cause them to seek an alternative target. If your budget allows, then home security systems are a great way to keep your place extra secure, but consider using the signage regardless.
Lock all windows and doors.
Although it may seem like an obvious prevention step, the Department of Justice found that in 1 of every 3 break ins, the burglar entered via an unlocked door or window. Deadbolts are generally more secure as they can be more difficult to pick.
Use a safe for irreplaceable items.
The cost to fortify your home with cameras and alarms can get spendy quickly. A home safe is a less expensive way to help ensure that your irreplaceable, or nearly irreplaceable, items, like heirloom jewelry, passports, family letters, backup thumb or storage drives, are more secure from burglars AND fires.