With Christmas quickly approaching, many of us will be preoccupied with shopping for gifts for our family and friends, selecting the perfect holiday tree, and attending Christmas party upon Christmas party. The holidays are truly a wonderful and fun-filled time of year. However, all the joy and festive activities can sometimes distract us from our day-to-day routines.
While the holidays are always memorable, they are often extremely busy. This can cause us to potentially forget to set our home alarms, slack on trimming the grass and bushes out front, and maybe even neglect to remove our numerous bags from our vehicles after nearly endless hours of Christmas shopping. While, all these things may not seem to be dangerously problematic, burglars typically know that we all tend to get sidetracked during the holiday season and use this to their advantage.
10 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe
Being prepared this holiday season, and not neglecting to safeguard your home, can make or break your Christmas. You wouldn’t want a burglar to ruin your Christmas fun. Although this time of year can be hectic, make sure you don’t forget your regular security routine and check out some of our security tips below.
1. Arm Your Alarm
While this may seem obvious, it’s important to remember to set your alarm every time you leave the house. Whether you are leaving for work or running out to grab a coffee, burglars are looking for windows of opportunity no matter how small the window of time may be. If you have trouble remembering to arm your system, you may need to come up with a few creative ways to remind yourself. This may include leaving yourself Post-It notes, setting phone reminders and asking the entire family to get involved.
2. Update Your Stickers & Signs
Having security stickers and signs in your yard will let thieves know that your home is being monitored. While adding new stickers and signs is not a sure-fire way to ensure that burglars don’t break in, they may cause them to think twice before breaking a window or sneaking in through a back door.
3. Don’t Give Neighbors Spare Keys
In one of our past blogs we talked about how most burglars are typically people you already know. While, this doesn’t always mean friends and family, it normally includes people who have access to your home or are in close proximity. Be wise when making copies of your keys for housekeepers, music instructors, pet sitters, and neighbors. While you may not want to think that these people you trust could potentially burglarize your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
4. Don’t Post Your Schedule on Social Media
Most of us tend to update our friends throughout the day about what we are doing and where we are going. However, since acquaintances are commonly known to be the number one perpetrator for break-ins, we suggest being extra mindful of what you’re posting. It would be in your best interest not to post pictures that show that you are out of the house or even posts about your future vacation plans. If you can’t resist sharing all your holiday activities, we recommend posting them the following day.
5. Use Motion Sensors
When you install motion sensors outside your home, they will trip every time they sense movement around a specific perimeter. You can have motion sensors that activate lights and alarms to warn you when a potential burglar may be lurking outside on your property. Motion sensors may also deter thieves from breaking in due to the sudden burst of light or the sound of the alarm.
6. Don’t Run External Lights Through a Window
Most of us string those beautifully bright Christmas lights along our rooftops and also use them to frame our windows. However, where you plug them in could cause a potential problem. To ensure your safety, make sure no lights run through the windows to the inside of the house—leaving the windows cracked throughout the day.
7. Leave a Few Lights On
Leaving a couple lights on may deter burglars from breaking in. For the majority of thieves, the potential of someone being home probably won’t be worth the risk. Most burglars are not looking for a confrontation, they want an easy target and a quick getaway.
8. Make Sure Gifts are Not Visible Through Windows
You can be sure one of the first things a thief will do is peer inside the windows to check out what prizes they could score. If you have a Christmas tree, make sure gifts are safely tucked away and kept out of sight. Keeping gifts in easy-to-spot locations could tempt robbers to target your home for a break-in.
9. Watch Where You Throw Away Gift Boxes
We know this may sound silly, but burglars often rummage through trash cans the day after Christmas to see what new items the family may have inside. We suggest throwing away expensive electronic boxes in a dumpster behind a store or somewhere away from your house. This way, burglars won’t know what they will find inside if a break-in were to occur.
10. Beware of People Who Come to the Door
We thought it was important to include this on our list, since most burglars are acquaintances or people you have met. Remember the Christmas movie Home Alone? The McCallisters had no idea the “police” were mere thieves when one of the family members let them into their home. Burglars can pose as donation seekers, Edison workers, handymen and much more, in hopes of getting a glimpse inside your home so they can better plan their raid. If you did not schedule service with a company, do not be afraid to turn them away or ask for proper identification.
Christmas is quickly approaching, so be prepared. Make a list of a few areas you can up your security and maybe tackle a few during the first week of the month as a family. You and your children can go through the house to ensure the windows are locked, gather all the spare keys and put them in one location, and everyone can learn to arm and disarm the alarm system.
Christmas season can come and go so rapidly, so be careful not to get caught off guard. It’s best to start planning as soon as you can, before we are already a few weeks into the holiday season.
Where to Get Started
If you are not sure where to start, consider tackling one of these points a day or possibly a few a week. While not all of these are mandatory to your home’s overall safety, they will all offer more security and peace of mind. If this list seems a little excessive or you simply don’t have the time to be solely responsible for your home’s overall security, you can always give us a call.
Installing a video doorbell, a home alarm, and/or surveillance cameras can be a quick and easy way to have peace of mind. Here at Am-Tec Security, we offer customized quotes and can work with just about any budget. Give us a call at 800-609-2527 to learn more.