The holiday season is just about here again, which means trips to relatives homes, presents to buy and many concerns about your home's security. The good news is that home burglaries occur at a lower rate in the fall and winter than they do in the summer. Much of that can be attributed to weather and summer vacations. In Oklahoma, the weather may still be pleasant for Thanksgiving and even Christmas, and many of us will be away from our home for days at a time. This leaves ample opportunity for burglaries if you don't take the proper precautions. Here are a few tips to know in order to keep your home safe this holiday season.
- Improve security
?Let's start with the basics. Regardless of what time of year it is, it's always a good time to take a critical look at the current security measures in place at your home and see where improvement is needed. Do you have a monitored alarm system? Do you have motion sensor lights? How about surveillance cameras? Are your exterior doors solid, and equipped with sturdy hardware like deadbolts and strikeplates? Take a look around your home and see where you'd try to break in. Then, try to fortify that area so burglars are deterred.
- Keep up appearances
?If you know you're going to be out of town for a few days for the holidays, start thinking now about how you'll make your home appear lived in while you're away. You can do this a variety of ways. First, put a few lights on timers around your home so that they go on and off throughout the day. Also, be sure you have a friend or neighbor come by to pick up newpapers and mail left for you along with any flyers or packages left on your doorstep. If you'll have leaves or snow falling on your walkway and lawn, hire someone to maintain your lawn for you while you're gone so it's not obvious that no one has trudged up to your home.
- Covert packing
?Many of us don't think about our houses being monitored by potential burglars. The truth is, however, that most break-ins happen after a criminal has watched your home over a long period. They'll try to learn your routine so they can break-in while you're at work or usually away. They'll also be looking for reasons to break in and items to steal. So, while you're packing your suitcases, do so away from windows and load the car in a closed garage. This way, if someone is watching, they won't know if you're just runnig to the store or going for a long weekend trip.
- Keep gifts under wraps
?This is a similar tip to packing for your trip. Because the holidays are coming, you're likely doing more shopping and bringing home gifts. Be careful about advertising the new, expensive items in your home, however. It's a good idea to keep your gifts wrapped or in shopping bags as you bring them in from the car. It's also a good idea to store them out of sight, which means you might want to wait until Christmas to put them under the tree. When you've unwrapped all the gifts, be aware of where the boxes go. For example, putting a large TV box on the curb for trash pick-up is just telling burglars that you have an expensive TV inside.
- Don't get social
?Just as burglars often monitor homes they're planning to break into, they may also be monitoring your social media profiles. Many of us post updates about getting ready for a vacation, or pictures of us in another city while we're still away. When you do this, however, anyone that sees it assumes your house is empty and vulnerable. First, attempt to lockdown the privacy of your profiles to keep strangers from seeing your updates. Even with that done, however, it's still a good idea to keep definitive proof that you're not home off social media.
For help keeping your home and family safe this holiday season, stop by and see us at Holder's Security. We offer the latest security tech to improve your home's defenses and the expertise to help you find exactly what you need.