‘Tis the season for family, friends and good food. This time of year is about celebrating and reuniting with the ones you love. It’s too bad burglars don’t always get the memo.
With many people are travelling, visiting their families and leaving their homes unattended, it’s a bit of a burglar’s paradise.
And don’t forget that the colder weather takes a heavy toll on a home, making environmental damages a real concern – especially if you’re not aware that they’re happening.
8 Home Safety Tips for the Holidays
How can you keep your home safe from both burglars and the environment? Here are a few minor changes that can have a big impact.
Close curtains and blinds
It’s nice to display your holiday tree in a front window for others to see, but avoid putting presents in plain view. While they might be wrapped, large gifts or a big stash are attractive prizes for a burglar canvassing the neighborhood. Simply closing your curtains and blinds can go a long way.
Lock doors and windows
Did you know that doors are the most common point of entry for a burglar? According to the 2014 FBI Uniform Crime Report, as many as 35 percent of burglaries occur through unlocked doors and windows.
Before heading out (or heading to bed), double-check that you’ve locked the doors and windows around your home. And do not neglect upstairs, as intruders can use ladders and trees to access your home.
Be clever when hiding spare keys
If you keep an extra key hidden outside your home for those desperate situations, know that it comes with a risk. Under the doormat, in a planter or on a light are obvious hiding places. If you must leave a key outside your home, be creative with the location. Or better yet, leave it with a trusted neighbor.
Which takes us to…
Know your neighbor
Relationships with your neighbors can vary from home to home, but if you trust them, it can be extremely beneficial for both parties. If you’re going away for the holidays, let your most-trusted neighbor know, or ask a friend who lives nearby to keep an eye on your home. Whoever you choose, advise them to pick up any deliveries or make footprints in the snow so your home doesn’t appear vacant.
Avoid revealing your location on social media
Thanks to a very clever insurance company, this tip is pretty well known. You put yourself at risk if you post your location on social media – whether you’re leaving for 10 minutes or 10 days.
Try light control solutions or timers
Even if you’re not home, it’s very easy to control your lights remotely. There are many devices that allow you to automate lighting in your home, for safety and to conserve energy. Home security systems also have home automation features with the same capabilities.
Check environmental sensors
The colder season brings a number of environmental hazards, but environmental sensors can alleviate these concerns. Smoke, heat and potential floods can all be detected. Whatever sensors you do have, now is a good time to replace the batteries.
Arm your security system
Many burglaries are successful because the homeowners didn’t arm their security system. Even the best system is useless if you don’t use it. If you frequently forget, think about downloading the Frontpoint Mobile App. Or, purchase a keychain remote for easy, one-button arming and disarming.
Peace of Mind all Year Long
Follow these steps and have a safe and secure holiday season. Peace of mind comes easy when you know you’ve taken the necessary precautions for your family and home’s security.
If you have any other suggestions on how to keep your home safe during the holidays, let us know in the comments below!