It’s the holiday season, and for many that means traveling to spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, there are Grinches out there just looking for signs that your home is empty. If you don’t have a security system, there are other ways to help keep your home from being just another crime statistic. Here are some of the top tips to keep the burglars at bay this season.
1. DO NOT post any travel plans on social media. I know this is hard to do. You want to share those special holiday memories but wait until you get back. You never know who will see your posts and realize that no one is home.
2. Lose the hidden key. If you keep an emergency key outdoors, now is the time to bring it in. No matter how clever you think you have hidden it, there may be someone watching and ready to ruin your holiday cheer. If people need access to your home while you’re away, give them a key or consider installing a smart lock with a keypad.
3. Set lights to turn on and off. Set some timers or install programmable light switches on your indoor lights so they periodically turn on and off. This will make it appear that the house is occupied. Another option is to install some smart bulbs that can be programmed using a smart phone app. Smart bulbs are convenient and allow you to vary the schedule while you’re away.
4. Leave a radio playing. Tune in to an all-talk or news station and leave it playing while you’re away. A potential burglar may hear it playing and think that someone’s home.
5. Stop the mail and newspaper. Either stop delivery or have someone pick them up daily so they don’t pile up; it’s a sure sign that nobody’s home.
6. Lock the doors & windows. Perhaps the most obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget to lock the doors and windows when they head out of town. Don’t forget to lock the garage as well. Turn off automatic openers and consider a padlock on the inside so it can’t be opened.
7. Install motion sensors on outdoor lights. If outdoor flood lights come on as an intruder approaches the house, they may have second thoughts.
8. Arrange to have snow cleared if you live in an area where it snows. Nothing says “Nobody’s home” like a snow-covered driveway and walkway days after a snowfall.
Hope these tips help your holidays be cheerful ones!