It’s common knowledge that home break-ins peak during the holiday season, especially increasing around Christmas. If you have just gotten settled into a new home after completing a move, you want to be especially careful to keep it safe around the holidays. Read on to learn how to ensure the safety of your new home this upcoming holiday season:
Keeping Your Home Safe: General Tips
- Don’t Share Your Plans: Keep any and all travel plans off of social media. While your friend list is likely trustworthy, you never know who will see your post. You don’t want people to know when your home is vacant. Don’t share when you plan on leaving or returning. This means you can’t post photos from your vacation, while still away. It just isn’t a good idea. It’s like an alert for thieves saying “home is vacant, now’s your chance to rob it” when you do this. Wait till you get back into town to share.
- Inform a Neighbor of Your Plans: Although it can be difficult as the new person in your neighborhood to figure out who you can trust, it’s important to inform at least one neighbor of your plans to leave town during the holidays. This is important that someone knows you will be gone, so they can keep an eye on your house and be extra aware of any suspicious activity. It’s also a good idea to set your outside lights on a scheduled timer or use other home automation tools to make your home appear to be occupied.
- Don’t Display Possessions: Don’t make it obvious that you have purchased items. For example, try to keep your tree, with wrapped gifts underneath, away from windows. In addition, porch pirates are everywhere this time of year when everyone is ordering from Amazon. Consider installing a security camera, such as a doorbell camera, that has a good view of your porch if you plan on ordering a great deal of items. Even the mere presence of a security camera will sometimes deter a would-be porch pirate.
- Mind Your Landscape: Even if you don’t plan on leaving for the holidays, it’s a good idea to make sure your landscape doesn’t allow a burglar to hide. For example, ensure you have outdoor lighting and your bushes are trimmed down below your windows, not in front, providing cover.
- Ensure Your Method of Heat Source is Safe: Theft is not the only danger you have to worry about around the holidays. Due to the cooler weather, you will have to turn on your furnace and using your fireplace for the first time. The US Fire Administration reported the deaths of 2,650 individuals due to house fires in 2008. If you didn’t before purchasing your new home, have your furnace professionally inspected to ensure it is in proper working order. Have your chimney cleaned as well before using your fireplace. It’s also important to check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are good, and make sure the detectors themselves are working properly.
The holidays are a wonderful time of year in general, but can present a challenge as well when it comes to keeping your home safe for a variety of reasons. Keep the above tips in mind to ensure your home is protected this holiday season.