Nobody likes a Grinch. I'm not talking about the new movie - LOTS of people like that Grinch. I'm talking about the holiday thieves that target your home as a source for their own "gifts." With Christmas just around the corner, you're most likely neck deep in decorations, gift shopping, wrapping paper and stockings. Additional home safety might not be at the forefront of your mind, especially when you're bringing additional goodies and gadgets to place under your tree. But don't worry, we've got five tips to help you stay safe and sound this holiday season.
1. Don't overshare during this season of sharing.
Social media is commonplace. Telling people where you're going before you leave might be tempting. You're excited about a vacation and want to share your excitement with friends and family. If you're going to announce that trip, be sure you have your settings limited to those you trust. Or better yet, wait to share where you went until you get home. It's a shame that this is even a worry, but those looking for a target to rob will have your empty home gift wrapped for them if you check in online while you're out of town.
2. Remember to lock your door.
I know, this one's real brainbuster. It seems so simple but can often be overlooked. Security company ADT reported that 40% of all burglaries are termed "no force entries." In non-technical terms, that means unlocked doors or windows were used by burglars to enter the home. So, keep it simple and remember to lock your doors when you leave your house. Keeping all those neatly wrapped gifts under the tree depends on it.
3. Thwart potential threats before they happen.
If you could add something to your property that is relatively inexpensive but would help keep your home safe, would you make the purchase? Something as simple as a motion detector on outdoor lights can stop thieves and vandals in their tracks. If they don't want to be seen, they aren't going to come into your yard once the light turns on. And if the light fixtures and sensors themselves can be seen from the road, burglars might not even try to get close.
4. Don't make it easy to enter your garage.
If you park outside of your garage, you might not want to leave the garage door opener in the vehicle. And if it's visible, it gives burglars an easier way to get inside. I know it can be a hassle to bring the opener in and out of the vehicle all the time, so you should at least try to keep it out of sight if you choose to leave it in the vehicle. To help secure the garage, make sure the doors are locked and don't leave the overhead door open for long periods of time while unattended. Again, not earthshattering stuff, but great reminders to keep your stuff safe - especially if you store Christmas gifts in the garage to keep them safe from discovery by family members.
5. Show off the tree, not the gifts.
It's common to stage your Christmas tree in front of a large window in your home. It's the classic Christmas scene for those that like to drive around and look at the lights. Decorating the tree with all the lights and ornaments and gifts underneath is the tradition for the holiday season. But seeing all those gifts is also tempting for thieves looking to borrow your living room to shop for themselves at discounted prices. To keep yourself safe, keep the gifts out of view from those passing by outside. And after the unwrapping festivities, take a little extra care to hide those product boxes deeper in your trash or recycling bins. It's best not to show off the products that are new in your home to thieves shopping for what's inside by looking at the garbage on the curb.
These are just a few tips to help you stay safe and jolly this holiday season. I hope you get all the gifts you were hoping for. Happy holidays everyone!
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