Tips to Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays
The best way to keep your home safe all year round is to install an effective security/home monitoring system. There are many options on the market, and you can easily find a solution that fits your needs and budget. Today’s systems typically deliver the capacity to monitor your home remotely, so you can achieve peace of mind - no matter where you are.
Other steps to take:
- Stick to Your Routine. If you have a housekeeper come each week, a landscaper that comes to trim the grass and take care of the yard, or someone to remove snow, do not cancel these appointments. Any change in routine can signal that you are away. Thieves and burglars regularly stake out homes during the holidays, looking for signs that people are away.
- Stop All Deliveries. If you have your mail delivered to your home, are expecting packages, or you have newspaper subscriptions, have them suspended or re-routed while you are away. A stack of mail, boxes, and papers on the doorstep is an easy way for would-be burglars to decide your home is a good target.
- Secure Your Valuables. If you have a built-in safe, make sure your most important items are safely locked up. If you do not, look for unusual hiding places. Avoid putting valuables under your mattress, in your clothes drawers, in your freezer, or in portable safes. Try decoy containers and/or appliances instead.
- Be Key Conscious. Thieves love hide-a-keys. Whether it’s under your doormat, under a fake-looking rock in your yard, or in that “realistic” looking ceramic chipmunk, they’ve seen it all. When you’re traveling, remove all spare keys from these locations.
It is far better to leave a key with a trusted neighbor, friend, or family member. They can help you out if you forget or lose yours - and they can pop by to pick up mail, water plants, turn on lights, and generally ensure your house looks occupied. Having a house sitter is a great idea as well if you have a reliable person in mind.
- Don’t Announce Travel Plans on Social Media. Even if your social media profiles are set to private, do not broadcast your travel plans. Wait until you are home to share those great family photos or vacation shots. Thieves regularly troll social media and given that many of us have “friends” that we don’t know all that well, it’s best to keep the fact that your house will be empty to yourself.
Also, make sure that your social media profiles do not include your address or phone number. Be sure to look for and remove photos that may have a house number or identifying landmarks in the background, for example.
- Install Motion-Activated Lights. These are inexpensive, and they switch on automatically whenever they sense motion. Install them so they illuminate your door, prominent windows, backyard, and pathways. This is a deterrent for thieves. It is also prudent to set your interior lights on a timer (staggered, if you can - setting the same lights to go off at the same times each day can be a signal that you’re gone) or, preferably, use a smart timer so you can control lights remotely.
- Rethink Your Garage Door Opener. Many garage door openers can be opened by a universal remote. Don’t take the chance: deactivate your opener and install a manual lock.
- Advertise That You Have Security. Your security system will typically provide you with stickers and/or signs that announce that your home is protected. Make sure they are visible by access points (e.g. doors, front windows, etc.).
Your home is your sanctuary, and it should provide a sense of safety. When you are traveling for the holidays, be sure to take these easy steps to ensure that it is as secure as possible.
The RealStar Homes team wishes you the very happiest holidays and safe travels! Contact us for more information about our amazing homes.