When the Christmas season is upon us, a lot of time and money is invested to create the most memorable holiday celebration possible. Unfortunately, this is also the time of year that criminals look to take advantage of the joy in our homes. Break-ins are a very real threat that can ruin all the effort you’ve put into making Christmas perfect. The holiday season is a time that your home should be on high alert to make sure a burglary is not a possibility. From lighting timers to security camera installation, here are our top tips to keep your home more secure this Christmas.
The holidays are filled with celebrations, which means your home becomes more vulnerable while you are out enjoying the season. It’s important to ensure you do everything you can to make it appear that someone is always home during the holidays. One of the best ways to do this is to do remote lighting. It is not uncommon for burglars to keep an eye on a specific home, or street with burglary in mind. That means the more your home remains consistent in lighting, the better. Keep lights on in logical rooms you use on a regular basis, such as the family room where you might watch TV, perhaps one or two bedrooms upstairs and the kitchen. You should also keep a TV on or have music playing when you are not home. An easy way to manage this is to install a home automation system. This is the latest in “smart home” technology that allows you to operate things such as lighting, heating and other electronics remotely.
If you are leaving your house for an extended vacation, chances are you won’t have any new gift items at home. This doesn’t mean your home is less vulnerable, as burglars aren’t particularly picky about what they steal. They will look for any signs a family is away, such as old newspapers and flyers on your front door step or an unshoveled driveway and sidewalk. You should either cancel your newspapers while you are away or arrange for a neighbour to pick up your papers and mail for you. If you can, have someone shovel your property and if you don’t have a garage for your vehicle have them remove any snow from your car.
Tip: The best way to make your home appear occupied is to use lighting timers that can have lights turn on and off at the expected times.
Burglars will keep an eye on homes that appear to have easy access. During the holiday season they will see additional opportunities, especially when it comes to your Christmas tree. If you keep your tree near a window, they could spot this and see it as an opportunity to simply smash the window and grab as many items as they can from under the tree. If your tree is traditionally located near a window, consider keeping more expensive gifts hidden upstairs to make it more difficult to access them.
One of your best defenses against intruders and burglary is a Home Burglary system that allows you to set an alarm when you leave the home, as well as when you are home. This works in hand with monitoring that will alert a monitoring station and dispatch the police if you or your property are in danger. This can be set up in hand with video surveillance for the best protection and monitoring not only during the holidays but all year round.
Another easy point of entry is your garage doors. With so much rushing during the holidays, not to mention all the gift stashing, it’s easy to forget you have left the garage door open. Having a mobile access system will not only alert you if your garage doors are left open, but also allow you to shut and log them from a laptop or mobile device.
Don’t Advertise Your Plans
If you’ve seen Home Alone, you’ll know that burglars have a number of ways of finding out your plans over the holidays. This includes answering machine messages that might provide a tip that you’re on vacation. Never leave clues on your answering machine that tells people you will be away and for how long. Remember, anyone you might want to speak to will already know your plans. For everyone else they can leave a message!
Social media is another way criminals can keep an eye on your activity. Make sure you have the proper privacy settings on your social media accounts and never accept friend requests from someone you don’t know. As well, although it’s tempting to brag about upcoming travel plans, avoid doing so on social media. Instead, share pictures once you return from your trip.
One tell-tale sign burglars look for after Christmas is all those empty boxes from high ticket items in your recycling bin. This is one of the big clues they look for when “casing” a home for potential break-ins. Make sure you break down the boxes completely so it is difficult to determine what the boxes contained.
Although this might seem like extra money spent during the holidays, the better your security the lower your home insurance costs. Keeping your home secure during the holidays is one more step you can take to make sure you have a merry Christmas.
To find out more about securing your home over the holidays, call Canadian Security Professionals at 1-877-229-7252 or contact us here.
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