It’s nice to get away for the holidays. However, the last thing you want to learn is that your home has been burglarized while you’re trying to enjoy the season. Take the time now to protect your home from holiday break-ins with these tips.
Don’t advertise your departure
It’s tempting to post, check in or brag about your vacation on social media. Remember, however, that depending on your security settings, “friends of friends,” the public or a good hacker can see your posts. They could use this as an opportunity to pay your home a visit while you’re gone. All that sharing can mean you face a higher risk of burglary. Consider changing your profile settings to private or only allow a select group of friends to view your photos.
Make it look like you’re home
Use light switch timers — manual or digital — on varied schedules. Consider smart bulbs on your outside lights to allow for varied schedule programming. Burglars may be less likely to try entering a home if the porch light or front yard lights are on.
Ask neighbors to keep watch
Consider sharing your travel plans with trusted neighbors and a crime watch team, if available. Ask them to help keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Put a hold on deliveries while you’re gone. An accumulation of mail or boxes is a sign that you’re on vacation.
Secure your valuables
Store valuable papers and jewelry in a safe and away from prying eyes, should a thief enter your home. As an extra precaution, keep a fireproof, non-portable safe tucked out of sight in your home. Alternately, keep valuables in a safe deposit box available at your Credit Union. And don’t leave presents under the tree.
Double-check your home’s doors and windows
This may seem obvious, but it often gets overlooked as you’re rushing to get out the door for vacation. Strong cylinder door locks are a good investment. Look for pick-resistant locks. Burglars will often take a few extra moments to try picking a lock to avoid breaking a window and alerting neighbors. Install locks that wedge. Remember to bolt sliding doors and double-hung windows.
Also consider installing an alarm system. Many systems can be purchased from a box kit. Installed in no time, you can keep an eye on your home right from your smartphone. Remember, data fees may apply, so check with your service provider. For an added deterrent, post signs with the name of your security company around your yard.
Make sure you’re covered by insurance
Lastly, and most importantly, make sure your auto, homeowners or renters insurance is up-to-date, and that your coverage is sufficient. If you do end up having problems, you don’t want to find out your insurance company can’t help.
Remember, all these tips are good for holiday traveling, but they’re also good for everyday security. Burglars can strike anytime.