The holiday season is upon us, and for many this is the most joyous time of the year, with gift-giving, wonderful food and drink, and family gatherings. Unfortunately, for homeowners it’s also a potentially dangerous time.The FBI reports about 400,000 burglaries every year from November through December. With a few simple precautions, however, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of an intruder or a home accident spoiling your holiday.
1. Be Careful with Your Social Media Postings
It’s amazing how people with evil intent use social media to gather information to use against you, like breaking into your home. If you have travel plans, don’t talk about your trip until you return home. If you’ve received some special and expensive gift, it’s best not to say anything about that either of your social media posts.
2. Decorate Carefully
Those wonderful decorations we’ve gathered over the years certainly help get us into the holiday spirit but be careful. Don’t overload your electrical circuit and make sure all power cords are in good condition. If you still use a real tree, keep it well watered so it won’t become a fire hazard. Be sure you turn off all lights, and for certain, extinguish all candles before retiring for the night.
3. Reduce the Fire Risk
Make sure your heating system and smoke detectors are in good working order. If you have a fireplace, have a professional chimney sweep clean out any debris or residue in the chimney that might cause a fire.
4. Don’t Put Gifts Out in Full View
Brightly wrapped gifts under the tree can act like a magnet to thieves, especially if your tree is near a window. Think about moving your tree to a less visible location, and you might wait until Christmas eve or even Christmas morning to put out the gifts.
5. Check the Locks
Make sure all door and window locks are in working order, especially if you’re going to be out of town. Remember though, door locks are only as strong as the door they’re mounted on, and wooden doors are especially vulnerable to break-ins. You might consider replacing your wooden front and back doors with fiberglass doors. Modern versions mimic the appearance of wood, but they’re far stronger than wooden doors and more energy efficient.
6. Maintain the Appearance of Occupancy
If you’re going to be away, you don’t want to invite thieves in by leaving your house looking unoccupied. One way to avoid that is to install timers that cut your lights on in different rooms at random hours of the night.
You might also get assistance from a trusted neighbor. They could park their car in your driveway. They might also be helpful enough to clear snow from your walkway. Anything to make it appear you’re home and not out of town will help.
7. Don’t Ignore the Exterior
Keep the shrubs and bushes around home cut low, depriving thieves of places to hide before breaking into your house.
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Each home is different, and we’ll work with you to provide a professionally installed security system to meet your particular needs. For peace of mind and the very best in home security, contact Alert Protective Services for a free security estimate.