Protecting your home is always an important topic, but it’s especially so with the holidays approaching. Burglaries and break-ins peak at this otherwise festive time of year. More time is spent away from home and more packages are delivered, leaving your house and belongings more vulnerable than ever. Help keep your home safe by following these security solutions.
Tips to Avoid Vacation Violators When You Are Away
1. Let your trustworthy neighbor know you are going to be away and ask them to help you with your trash collection and removing any packages or solicitor materials left at your door.
2. Automatic light timers with battery backup (in case of power failure) can create the simulation of someone being at home. Setting at various times throughout the house can create the illusion of movement and activity in different areas of your home.
3. Turn home phone ringers down, and if you utilize a voice message machine, silence it.
4. Stop delivery of newspapers and mail.
5. If you are gone for a long period of time, maintain any landscaping care (lawn, snow removal) to give the illusion that you are home.
6. If you have a garage, keep your vehicle parked in it. If you keep your vehicle in the driveway, make sure there are no spare keys or garage door openers left inside.
7. Be proactive! Record a video of each room to document proof of your belongings should you need to make an insurance claim.
8. Check with your local police station to see if they employ and neighborhood patrol, or a "vacant house list." Criminals will be leery to enter a home if they know it’s being watched, especially by authorities.
Protecting Your Holiday Packages from Porch Pirates
Who doesn't love holiday packages? Deliveries left in open areas are easy targets for burglars and can spoil your holiday cheer. It’s been reported that this time of year thieves will even trail delivery trucks stalking prime targets. Thieves are looking for anything that can be converted to cash, so be mindful when purchasing high-value items in boxes that may clue to what is inside. Additionally, break down and immediately trash any boxes that reveal high-priced purchases.
A few other considerations for protecting your holiday packages this holiday season include:
1. Thieves commonly strike during work hours when many homes are empty. Consider having packages delivered to your office, not your house.
2. Request a signature for all packages to be delivered.
3. Check with delivery providers to see if they offer additional security features. UPS has a program called UPS My Choice which allows a customer to receive an email or text message before a package arrives and reroute it if no one is going to be home.
4. Take advantage of tracking and delivery alerts so you know exactly when the package is delivered.
Whether you are traveling or staying home this holiday season, the threat of thievery remains. Knowing these helpful tips may help prevent your season from being soured!