The holiday season is a time for fun and festivities. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when many homes are burglarized. Factors include Christmas presents, the high number of holiday travelers, and a high stress time of year. The FBI reports “nearly 400,000 burglaries occur during November and Decemberalone.”
The criminals perpetrating these thefts aren’t typically professionals, but amateurs looking to quickly score items like electronics, jewelry and gadgets. Here are some ways to protect your home and keep it secure during the holidays.
Be discreet when disposing of packages.
One of the easiest ways for thieves to tell if there’s a wealth of valuables is from leftover packing in your trash or recycling sitting on the curb. A quick glance and they’ll know what they will find inside. If you’ve got a brand new TV or computer, be sure to break the packaging down and conceal it as much as possible. You may also want to wait to dispose of packing until the day trash/recycling is collected so it doesn’t linger around and give would-be burglars any incentive.
Minimize visibility from the street.
Another mistake homeowners make is leaving a mound of expensive gifts underneath the Christmas tree right in front of a window. If these items are visible from the street, potential burglars don’t have to make much effort to case your home. To prevent this problem, you should keep your curtains or blinds closed at night or position your Christmas tree so it’s not easily seen from the street. You may also simply want to wait until Christmas Eve before you place presents under the tree.
Ensure you have adequate lighting.
The last thing a burglar wants is to be spotted when attempting to break and enter. That’s why it’s smart to install some outdoor motion detector lights that are triggered any time someone approaches your home at night. You should also set a timer for indoor lights if you will be away from home for an extended period of time. This should hopefully serve as enough of a deterrent so potential thieves don’t want to risk it.
Be careful with social media posting.
If you’re going to be out of town for the holidays, you should use caution with how much information you divulge on your social media accounts. For example, posting something like “greetings to everyone back home, we’ll be back next week” makes it all too easy for criminals to gain the edge. They’ll know for a fact you’re not home, which can make your home a prime target for a break-in.
Take pictures and record serial numbers.
For any high price gifts, it’s a good idea to take note of as much information as possible. This is relatively easy to do and starts with taking a picture and saving it on your mobile device, computer or on Cloud software. You should also write down all serial numbers if items need to be traced. In the worst-case scenario, this will make it easier for police to obtain a confession and recover stolen items.
Because of the good times and good cheer, some people fail to consider the spike in home burglaries around the holidays. Fortunately, taking the right precautions and preventative measures should keep your home safe from a Grinch.
Written by Nick Mann
Nick has freelanced for over four years and enjoys writing about how technology impacts home security. When not writing, he enjoys playing disc golf, sports, hiking, and traveling. Learn more