The holiday decorations are up and most people are in a cheerful holiday spirit, but that doesn’t mean you can let home security slip your mind or household. Thieves know that the busy holiday season offers advantages such as presents under the tree and distracted or vacationing homeowners. It’s important to stay alert and aware to keep you, your family and your home safe and secure during the holiday season.
The FBI reports that nearly 400,000 burglaries occur between November and December each year in the United States, but prevention is easy. The National Crime Prevention Council, MoneyPit and Security-Port offer great easy and commonsense recommendations to keep you and yours safe during the holiday season. If you’re leaving the house empty while on holiday this year, follow these simple home security tips to keep your home safe.
Dos and don’ts for a secure holiday home
When it comes to protecting your home during the holidays or while on vacation, do:
- Use a timer to turn household lights on and off even if you’re not home. Burglars watch for occupancy cues.
- Keep your windows and doors, including sliding doors, locked and secure.
- Make sure you’re home to accept any packages that are scheduled for delivery. If not, request that the packages are left with a trusted neighbor or at the nearest post office.
- Request to suspend your mail and newspaper delivery if you’re going out of town.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to check up on your home if you’re out of town.
- Install durable doors, windows and even a home security system.
And to further promote home safety while on holiday, don’t:
- Hide spare keys under flowerpots, doormats or on door-frame ledges.
- isplay your Christmas tree and presents in front of easy-access windows. Burglars love easy in-and-out routes.
- Display your family name on your mailbox – burglars can easily find out your phone number and call to see if you are home.
- Leave notes on your door announcing that you’re away from home.
- Place empty boxes from high-priced items outside your home for trash collection.
- Post vacation pictures or updates to social media while you are still away from home.
- Do install durable doors and windows, and even a home security system.
Most of these home security tips easy to implement. To ensure a secure home, it’s important to be diligent and alert during the holidays and not make your home tempting to burglars.
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Originally published 12/20/11. Last updated 12/5/18.