With another Christmas finished, many of us are turning our attention to the new year. Before completely putting Christmas out of your mind, however, be sure to take the proper home security precautions to ensure your home, family and property are all more secure next year than they were in 2015. There are a few annual tasks and chores you should keep in mind every year after Christmas. Here are a few of the most important.
- Careful with packaging
?For most families, Christmas produces a lot of waste. Wrapping paper, bows and boxes all typically end up in the trash can or sitting on the curb waiting for pick-up. Remember that the packaging your gifts came in can be attractive to burglars, however. If they see a box for an expensive new TV, laptop, kitchen equipment, tools or even bicycles, it may entice them enough to try to break in to your home. Thiefs typically want to know that there are expensive items in your home before they risk breaking in, and leaving the packaging from your gifts sitting on the curb is a dead giveaway. Instead, be sure to bag up all the garbage your family's Christmas celebrations produce. If need be, cut up boxes so they'll fit. Some burglars may even take a look in your trash can so use black garbage bags that won't give anything away.
- Get your keys back
?Many of us welcome home family and friends from out of town during the holidays. Because of hectic schedules, this can often mean that spare keys are given out to houseguests, or given to friends so they can get in before you get home. There's nothing wrong with this practice and it often makes lives much easier. But, you should remember to get those keys back before your houseguests leave. When there are spare keys to your home floating around, it only increases the chance that they'll fall into the wrong hands. While it's unlikely that someone from hundreds of miles away would get ahold of your key and make it to your door, most people are much less cautious with someone else's key than they would be with their own. That means your key could be lost in town or even on your own property. Asking for the key back will also alert you if it's already missing, which could signal that it's time to have your locks changed as a precaution.
- Undecorate intelligently
?A dreaded chore for many of us after Christmas is taking down all the holiday decorations. It can be difficult to get motivated to go out and finish this annual task, but it's important to take decorations down as soon as possible. Your decorations may be giving criminals extra places to hide while waiting for an ideal time to break in, or they could be giving easier access to your roof or second floor windows. This is especially true if you're no longer turning lights on after dark. Also, when you do start taking down decorations, put ladders and other tools away when you're finished, or when you take long breaks. Your ladder could also be used to gain access to the second floor or roof, which might make it easier to break in. The ladder and other tools could also be used to break windows or disable locks if you're not around.
- Secure new items
?Finally, it's important to take note of any new, expensive items that you've added to your home over the holidays. Some of these items may need to be reported to your home insurance company and added to your policy, or they may require an insurance policy of their own. You'll also want to consider how visible expensive items like electronics are from front windows. You don't want to advertise to anyone passing by that you've just added a new big screen TV to your front room. Once you've arranged your new items around your home, be sure to take a walk around your house and see what's visible and where you might attempt to break in. Be sure to make adjustments based on your findings.
If you didn't get the home security equipment you were hoping for this Christmas, come see us at Holder's Security. We carry safes, locks, surveillance systems and alarm systems to keep your family and your property safe and sound.