18 Dec 2017
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Christmas is a time to be merry with friends and family. All the gifts, parties, and out-of-town trips make the holiday season one of the most celebrated times of the year.
Unfortunately, Christmas is also celebrated by burglars, who see it as a grand opportunity to steal. According to home security expert Natasha Morgan, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can make homes susceptible to break-ins. From expensive presents under your Christmas tree to valuable items in your bedroom, the holiday season is open season for property theft.
The good news is you can easily stop burglars from ruining your Christmas. Prevent theft during holiday with these 9 home security tips.
1. Hide your Christmas gifts
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Gifts on display in your living room can add to the festive feel, but it can also inspire holiday break-ins. Even if you have a great-looking interior decor, it’s best to keep it invisible from the outside. Use thick curtains or blinds to make sure criminals can’t see your home interior. You may also consider hiding gifts temporarily, only taking them out in time for the opening of presents.
2. Install an alarm system for year-round security
While property theft peaks during the holiday, intruders can target your home anytime of the year. Why not invest in something you and your family can benefit from year-round? With a home security system, you can effectively protect your home from burglars. Whether you go DIY or professional, there are a number of security system brands to suit your needs. Consider wireless systems so you can control and monitor your home even when you’re away. Apart from remote access, motion sensors are another great feature to have in your security system. You can also boost security with recent home automation technology. With a fews clicks in your smartphone, you can do things such as lock doors, adjust thermostat, and control lighting.
3. Properly discard boxes of expensive items
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As is often said, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In the case of home break-ins, burglars need not see the inside of your home to know that you own big ticket items such as computers and flatscreen TV. If you keep boxes of expensive items in your outdoor trash, you are making it easy for burglars to know about the great loot in your home. Wait for garbage day until you discard boxes of expensive items.
4. Clear your front door of packages
With online shopping becoming a preferred mode of buying gifts, thieves are targeting packages left on front porches or near front doors. In Massachusetts, several police departments are working hard to combat package theft after residents have reported missing packages delivered in November and December of this year. Out of convenience many online shoppers choose to have their purchases left by their front door, only to come home with their packages gone. It’s best to require delivery signature when shopping online as this will prevent the courier from leaving your package out in the open. This may take you longer to receive your package, but it helps ensure that you get it safely.
5. Be careful with what you share on social media
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Burglars nowadays are technologically savvy. They can stalk you on social media to plan their crime. Divulging too much information online compromises your home security because it makes you an easy target for burglars. A good example is live sharing your holiday vacation, which serves as a clear indication that you’re not home. If you want to post about your vacation, wait to do so until you’re back home. Also, adjust your privacy settings and make sure that your location services are on manual mode.
6. Build good ties with your neighbors
Building good ties with your neighbors has a number of home security benefits. For one, it will be easier to initiate a neighborhood meeting to discuss home security concerns and establish crime prevention practices. While property theft is a serious matter, why not make the meeting fun and fit for the holidays? When you’re out of town, your neighbor can serve as an extra pair of watchful eyes. Make sure to alert your neighbor a few days before your leave for work or vacation.
7. Park your car securely
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When away during the holidays, don’t forget about securing your car. A parked car in the driveway or sidestreet is a welcome invitation for auto theft. Parking your car in an indoor garage can effectively deter burglars from getting their hands on your vehicle. If your home doesn’t have a garage, consider secure pay parking services. You can also theft-proof your vehicle with steering wheel locks, audible car alarms, and immobilizers.
8. Install basic home security improvements
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All the holiday merrymaking can make you overlook basic home security improvements. Sometimes it’s the small, practical measures that can make all the difference. Ensure that your windows and doors are sturdy enough to withstand break-ins and excessive force. Add locks to doors and windows to discourage prying. As shrubs are often unkempt during the holidays, make sure that you trim them to prevent burglars from hiding there.
9. Make your house look lived in
Going away for the holidays? Make your house look lived in. Lights and sounds on timer are great at deterring burglars. Avoid leaving your lights on 24/7 as this can be an indication that you’re not home. Having lights on timer is preferable because you can set them to automatically turn on at specific times of the day. Again, having a home security system can be a life-saver as they work in perfect tandem with motion sensor lights.
With these 9 holiday theft prevention tips, you can enjoy Christmas all the way to New Year knowing that your home is safe and protected. Burglars can be worse than the Grinch, but if you’re smart about home security, you can effectively stop them from ruining your Christmas.