We’re heading into the heart of the holiday season. Last minute shoppers are finishing their lists and houses are being prepped for parties with family and friends. With all that goes on during the month of December, it’s easy to forget about the importance of home safety. According to the FBI, nearly 400,000 burglaries occur during the months of November and December alone. During this time of year, home invaders know that homes are filled with expensive gifts and that the good silverware is out for holiday dinners and parties.
The holiday season brings lots of in and out, family travel, and empty homes. With our minds in three different places, it’s easy to forget to keep a light on, lock the back door, or to close the garage door. Remembering to do something as simple as keeping a light on can greatly reduce your chance of becoming a burglary statistic. Last year, our agency suggested 8 products or services that you could use to prevent a holiday break in. To view those items, follow this link: 8 Ways to Prevent a Holiday Break-In. This post will offer 8 more suggestions to address home safety during the holidays.
- Keep a light on: Making your home appear that it’s occupied is a great crime deterrent. Putting lights on timers or leaving a TV or music on are also good ways to make it look like you’re home.
- Lock up: Keep your doors and windows locked, even if you’re stepping out for a short trip. Keep in mind that running lights and extension cords through windows can make for easy access for home invaders.
- Keep gifts hidden: Leaving gifts and valuables in plain site adds further incentive for a home invader to choose you over your neighbor. Keep gifts and valuables out of plain site when you’re away from home or out shopping! Car thefts are also very popular this time of year, leave the bags in the trunk!
- Be careful what you share on social media: Whether it be your travel plans or the gifts you received, you never know who else is looking at that. Check your privacy settings on your social media channels to control who can see what. Also keep in mind that when a friend likes, comments, or favorites a post/tweet that others may see that as well.
- Break down your boxes: This is one time that your home should not offer great curb appeal. Once gifts are exchanged, break down the boxes so that potential home invaders don’t have an easy look at what’s inside. This is especially important for any big ticket items. Failing to do so makes it very easy for potential home invaders to case a neighborhood and choose their targets based on the gifts you received.
- Don’t let mail or newspapers build up: If you’re heading out of town for an extended period of time ask a neighbor, friend or family member to collect your mail. Again, giving the appearance that the home is occupied with mail being collected and your lights on timers will help deter home invaders. Another option is to ask the USPS to hold your mail.
- Get to know your neighbors: This suggestion follows on asking a trusted person to pick up your mail, check on the house etc. Your neighbors are a great resource and the best security system you could ask for. They know your vehicles and likely have a general idea on your schedule. Talk to them if you’re going out of town for an extended period of time. A neighborhood of informed and alert neighbors will help prevent a burglary loss.
- Post a sign: Purchase a security monitoring sign and place it in the window or the yard. The thought alone might be enough to convince the home invader take a pass on your house.
No one is completely immune to a burglary loss. However, taking these home safety precautions can reduce the risk of it happening to you.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Colonial Insurance Agency!