The holidays is a time for joy, sharing, and kindness. It’s a season for spending quality time with your family and friends. It’s a time when everyone is thankful for what they have. Unfortunately, the holidays is also a time for robbery and home invasion. According to the FBI, over 400,000 cases of burglaries happen in November and December every year. Since this is the season where families are usually away on a Christmas trip, criminals take this opportunity to rummage through unattended homes and take whatever they want. Burglars also enjoy the Christmas season but at other people’s expense.
Luckily for you, if you read on, you can prevent those scums from looting your home. You can go out and enjoy quality time with your family because it’s the holidays—and you should always have a good time during holidays. All you have to do is follow these tips to secure your home during the holiday season and hope that the only guy who will enter your house is Santa Claus himself.
Friends in need: Ask a neighbor to house-sit for you
Reaching out to your neighbors is part of the Christmas spirit. Plus, your neighbors can also help you secure your home for the holidays. You can ask your neighbors, friends or relatives to house-sit for you when you’re away on your Christmas vacation. Don’t forget to ask them nicely and give your complete contact details in case of an emergency. If you’re staying in for the holidays, you can still ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your house every now and then. Not only will you have a sense of security but also foster a healthy relationship with the people around you. Invite them for Christmas dinner as you enjoy a safe and warm holiday night.
Anti-social: Don’t announce your vacation plans on social media
This should really be hard, especially if you’re very active online. But in order to protect your home during Christmas, you have to avoid posting your holiday plans for a while. Think about it. Do you really want potential intruders to know the exact time you’re away from home? By staying clear of social media, you will prevent stalkers from knowing your exact location. You should also limit your posts about your gift purchases in order to fend off potential thieves. You can resume your social media activity once your trip is done. The point is you don’t have to share every aspect of your life to everyone, especially the technologically-adept criminals.
No way in: Keep all points of entry locked and reinforced
This should be basic, but it’s also worth mentioning again and again. Before you even book the flight to your holiday destination, you have to make sure all points of entry in your house are safely locked. Getting a door lock is easy, but it’s not enough to prevent break-ins. You should consider upgrading your locks every time you go some place else. You can also fit security grilles on your windows for additional security. Secure all exterior doors with at least two locks or a mortice lock with five levers or more. Don’t leave a hole in your house completely exposed because robbers will always take the smallest opportunities.
Smart home for smart vacationers: Activate your timer switches
Try to put yourself on an intruder’s shoes. If you’re looking for the next house to burglarize, which one will you choose: the house that looks abandoned or the house that looks bright on the inside? A house that looks empty is an easy target and if you leave your house unattended, you’ll be the next robbery victim. Create the illusion of occupancy before you leave for the holidays. Consider installing timer switches to turn the lights and other appliances on and off at certain times. You can also automate your blinds to open and close to make your house look lived-in. Having automated house sitters is a cool way to make your home safe from burglars.
Fortified inside and out: Install a reliable home security system
You can guarantee your safety by installing a reliable home alarm system in the house. You can install dummy alarms to scare off thieves or you can get the more integrated and advanced security systems. Install CCTV cameras in strategic locations so you can record any suspicious activity. By doing this, you can also watch your house on real-time during your holiday vacation. Place sensor-activated security lights to alert your neighbors if there’s a commotion anywhere around your house. If you’re not sure what type of security system to get, you can always seek the help of your local home security company to get a more professional advice.
Say no to subscriptions: Cancel all regular home deliveries
Having your daily newspaper delivered to your doorsteps is indeed convenient, but if you’re planning a week-long Christmas sabbatical, you may want to tell the newspaper boy to stop delivering the paper for a while. Cancel all regular deliveries such as milk, newspapers, magazines, and any other subscription. When these things pile up in your doorway, they will just compromise your home security during holidays. Also, you have to keep an eye on your letterbox to make sure it’s not overflowing with unread mails. You can ask a good neighbor to collect your mail for you when you’re away.
Snakes and ladders: Tuck away all tools that can aid a burglar
Being tidy is a desirable trait in general but it is especially important when it comes to home security. Always make sure your tools are kept in locked containers before you go on a Christmas vacation. Don’t leave a hammer or a crowbar lying around your patio or garage. Potential intruders are always resourceful, and if you leave even a small hoe in your garden, they will definitely use it to break into your house. Keep your garden tools and ladders in the basement, where they will be impossible to access. Also, if there’s a need to leave a spare house key, make sure it’s strategically hidden somewhere or entrust them in the hands of a reliable neighbor.
Well-kept lawns: Keep greeneries watered and trimmed
Aside from having a nice façade, keeping your garden healthy can also help ward off potential intruders. Criminals will interpret an unkempt garden as an opportunity to strike since they will assume no one is home. So before you leave on a holiday hiatus, ask your neighbors to watch your garden for you. You can also arrange for a professional gardener to mow the lawn and cultivate the soil in your garden at least once a week. Make sure the entry points of your house are free from shrubbery. You just don’t know how much having a green thumb can add to your Christmas holiday security.
Sure, having a fun vacation is your main concern this Christmas. But you should also realize that your vacation would be useless if you go home to a burglarized house. Securing your home is as important as organizing a wonderful holiday vacation so don’t set it aside this year.