‘Tis the season to NOT be burglarized. Even though home burglaries spike in the month of December, you can keep your home safe with these holiday home security safety tips.
Be discreet on social media.
We’ve all done it, but try to resist broadcasting on social media that you’re loving the dress you bought for Saturday night’s office party or that you can’t wait to see your new baby nephew at your sister’s house in Denver for Christmas.
Social media trolling thieves would love to have that information so that they know when you will be away and can rob your home.
Use the USPS online services to secure your packages.
Package theft is becoming an everyday occurrence and even more so during the holiday season. The USPS has online services that can you mitigate the chances of having your packages stolen.
- Schedule a porch pick-up when you have gifts being shipped to family and friends. You can even give instructions on exactly where the package will be so it’s possible to tuck it discreetly behind a plant, etc. This will remove the risk of drive by thieves grabbing your packages out of the mailbox at the street without even stopping.
- Ship expensive items with a “signature required” at delivery point. It will only cost you a few dollars more, but could save you a lot of headaches by making sure your gift is left in the hands of the person it was intended for. USPS counts an item as “delivered” if it is left on the porch. Unfortunately, if that package is stolen, you cannot file a lost package claim because it was technically delivered. Just go with a “signature required” add-on and you won’t have to worry.
Post security signs outside your home.
This seems so basic that most people don’t even think to do it. However, 60% of convicted burglars who were interviewed said they would choose a different house to rob if they saw security signs outside of a home.
You don’t even have to actually have a security system to have signs. They can be purchased online through a simple shopping search from hundreds of places. We suggest that you have a yard sign as well as window stickers.
Be careful of what your garbage advertises to a burglar.
After you’ve opened all your gifts and are ready to clean up, be careful what boxes you put out for garbage pick-up. Bobby the Burglar may appreciate that Santa brought you a new 65-inch TV or gaming system for Christmas and be in your house next week to steal them.
Either burn or break down boxes for big ticket items before putting them out at the curb for garbage pick-up.
Keep gifts out of view from windows.
It’s tempting to put all of your gifts under the tree because it looks so pretty, but it’s not a great idea from a security standpoint. Any robber looking through the window at your beautiful Christmas tree will see a quick grab and go load of presents.
Consider how many times you open your front door for deliveries during the holiday season. Is your gift stash (or other valuables) visible from the front door? A popular holiday crime scam has the burglar posing as someone looking for donations and knocking on front doors. Their true purpose is to case out your home and get a look inside before they come back to rob you later. The kicker is, most also get a charity donation during this giving time of the year while they’re at your front door with plans to come back and rob you later!
Keep pets and children safe this holiday season.
In our previous article, Holiday Party Safety Tips. we briefly touched on some of the hazards to children and pets that come with the holidays and it’s worth mentioning again.
- Save the glass ornaments for the top half of your Christmas tree when decorating. Shiny baubles and glittering tinsel are very tempting for little ones and pose a choking hazard to children and pets.
- Tinsel can cause serious intestinal blockage in your cat or dog that can be deadly.
- Be mindful of where house guests set their plates down at holiday parties. These holiday foods are all toxic to your pets in varying degrees:
- Take care in where you place holiday plants because some of the most popular holiday foliage and flowers are toxic to pets. Holly and poinsettias are not deadly but will cause severe vomiting and require veterinary treatment. Peace Lilies are extremely toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.
Be mindful of fire hazards.
Christmas stockings hung over a beautiful crackling warm fire. A beautiful Christmas tree covered in twinkling lights and plugged into an extension cord with 2 other lighted Christmas delights. The outside of the house dripping with more lights than the Griswold house in the movie Christmas Vacation. We love our fire hazards at Christmas!
- December is the deadliest month when it comes to electrical fires.
- Never leave an open flame unattended and always make sure that your fireplace is completely extinguished before retiring to bed.
- Have your fireplace cleaned annually by a professional to avoid a chimney fire.
- Put your Christmas candles inside glass hurricanes to keep the open flame confined.
- Always unplug your Christmas tree before you leave the house or go to bed.
While the holidays are ideally a time of peace, joy and lots of shopping- Bad Santa is shopping too. Protect your home during the holidays with these home holiday safety tips and avoid becoming a burglary statistic.
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