15 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe When Traveling Over the Holiday Season
The holidays are upon us once again, and it’s not just the kids with their wish lists and the seasonal shoppers and decorators who are giddy for this festive time of year. Burglars are excited, too, because the hustle and bustle of the season makes for easy trespassing.
Here are 15 ways to tighten your home security and throw a wrench in a would-be intruder’s plans.
- The easiest and most important burglar-proof tip is to make it appear as if you and your family are home at all times, even when you’re traveling. Timers and home automation devices are life-savers for this very reason.
- Keep windows locked at all times—even those on the second floor. Though they are high, many burglars have perfected the art of climbing.
- Though movies show burglars breaking windows to get into a home, this is only dramatic effect. Most of them enter directly through front door. To prevent this, use a deadbolt or locking device—ideally one with a built-in alarm system that can be controlled from a mobile device.
- Ensure that your garage is always locked. If you have a garage door opener, unplug it if you are gone for a long period of time.
- Consider buying a door reinforcement device to improve the function of your doorjamb. These are affordable and easy to find online.
- When traveling during the holidays, put your newspaper and mail delivery on hold.
- Do not pack your car for vacation in plain sight. Instead, do it inside of your garage with the door closed. If there is not room in your garage, pack when it’s dark.
- If your car is not in the drive for a few days, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to park in your driveway to make it look like someone is home.
- Also, when on vacation, have a friend or neighbor mow your lawn or shovel snow to make it look like you and your family are home.
- Don’t display your holiday gifts to the rest of the neighborhood. Any gifts under the tree should not be seen from the outside, especially large front-facing windows.
- Do not announce any travel plans on social media. Only post about it after you have returned.
- Use a light timing device that you can control on your mobile device or schedule to turn on or off.
- Install a home security device that you can control remotely while gone. Cut costs and purchase one that doesn’t require a monthly fee.
- Don’t leave a message on your voice mail that indicates you being away, such as “We will be back, soon.” Instead, say something along the lines of, “We cannot answer the phone right now, please leave a message.” or “We are home, but busy. Leave a message, and we will contact you as soon as possible.”
- Regardless of whether or not you have a dog, leave signs that there is a large dog around your property. An unlabeled bowl with a few kibbles of food on the porch or deck can be a red flag for many would-be burglars.
- On the off chance that someone does break into your home, make sure it’s difficult for them to find your valuables. Before leaving, place your valuables in an old fast food bag, and place it in a fake trash basket. It is unlikely any burglar will go through the trash.