11 Holiday Home Security Tips: Preventing Christmas Burglars
Whether you’ve finally run out of excuses not to visit your in-laws, or it’s your turn to host this Christmas, the last thing you want to worry about is securing your home over the holidays. But with so many families traveling, thieves are on the prowl now more than ever for vulnerable homes to target.
So, how do you make sure your home is safe while discouraging any would-be burglars from trying to break in over Christmas weekend?
1. Make Sure Gifts Aren’t Visible From Outside
It’s such a common sight during this time of the year – a frosted window from which you can see a beautiful Christmas tree all lit up, with dozens of gifts underneath it. This sight is enough to make a potential burglar size up your house. With all those gifts in plain sight, how are they supposed to resist?
That’s why you need to make sure that your tree and the gifts underneath it are not visible from outside. Remove temptation and you reduce the chances of becoming a burglary victim.
2. Take a break from social media
Potential burglars are like hawks on social media. They look through posts seeking out information on the types of gifts people have gotten, or when they plan to leave their homes for Christmas shopping or for vacation. The information you choose to post online can be used against you. Therefore, take care not to post about valuables that may be in your home under the Christmas tree, or when the house will be empty.
3. Be Careful About Disposing of Packaging
If you’ve gotten gifts during the holiday season, you may get so caught up with enjoying them that you don’t pay attention to disposing of the packaging. If you put the packaging out in the trash, which will then be sitting by the curb waiting to be picked up, you’re basically telling the whole world what sort of gifts are inside.
Burglars are always on the lookout for such garbage items. That’s why you need to be very careful about disposing the packaging.
4. Don’t Run External Lights through a Window
Those pretty lights which adorn the exterior of your home need to be plugged in, right? Correct! Just make sure that you don’t run their wires through a window or door leading inside. That little wedge that the wire will leave is all a burglar needs to pry their way in.
5. Make Sure Your Home is Well-Lit
Remember, thieves and burglars love operating under the protection of darkness. When visibility is low, they can do whatever they please while knowing that no one will be able to see what they are up to.
If your house is well-lit, the chances of any ‘funny business’ taking place on your property are reduced. Make sure you have floodlights or motion activated lighting around the exterior of your home.
6. Put Your Lights on a Timer
Another quirk that burglars are known for is getting down the perfect time to break into a home. They do this by waiting for signs of inactivity or absence of occupants. One tell-tale sign that broadcasts that no one is home is when the lights are off.
That’s why you should put your Christmas lights, as well as some lights on the interior and exterior of your home on a timer. With these lights on, a burglar won’t feel so sure about the fact that your house is empty.
7. Make Use of Motion Sensors
Motion sensors trip when they detect movement around a certain perimeter. They can activate lights, or an alarm. Setting up motion sensors on your property is a good way to effectively deter anyone from breaking into your home.
8. Be Wary of Door to Door Donation Seekers
During the holiday season, you’ll have Christmas carolers come to your door, as well as people seeking donations for various charitable causes. The unfortunate thing is that you can’t really be sure about whether these individuals actually do represent the organizations that they claim to. It could be a sham where they try to get some money out of you, or they may carry out some form of a survey from which they can try to determine when would be the best time to break into you home.
Caution: Be wary, do not give out any personal information, and don’t give out any money without properly ascertaining their credentials.
9. Secure Your Home
Last but not least, make sure your home is secure during the holiday season. Check your windows and doors to make sure all locks are intact. If you don’t have one already, invest in a home security system which will protect your home and your family.
Christmas season is a merry and busy time. Unfortunately, burglars and thieves try to cash in on the spoils of the season by burglarizing homes. For this reason, you should take proper steps to ensure that your home is secure from all possible threats. By taking these steps, you can effectively reduce the chances of becoming a victim to a burglary.
10. Lock It Down
If you’re going on vacation, some experts recommend keeping a car parked in the driveway so it looks like someone’s home. To prevent your mailbox from overflowing while you’re away, have your mail held until you return.
11. Get Smart
If you’ve been wavering on outfitting your home with the latest smart home technology, the holidays could be the perfect time to finally get on board. You’ll have the fun of a new gadget to play with, and the peace of mind that your home has some extra safeguards—even when you can’t be there.
The options are virtually endless: Consider a smart doorbell, which detects motion and provides a view of your front door from your smartphone.
Want to control your lights with the swipe of a finger? Check out innovations like the Philips Hue smart lightbulbs, which allow you to operate your lighting from anywhere.
And if you’re looking for an all-in-one smart security solution, which combines a variety of self-installable cameras, motion sensors, and alarms and poses a serious threat to traditional, clunkier alarm companies.