6 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe This Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is just around the corner. It’s a time to give thanks and appreciation for the things you have, the people around you and the opportunities you’ve received. As one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, it is also a time to talk about home security. While people all across the country are traveling to visit family and friends, thieves are preparing to take advantage of your empty home. 

According to the American Automobile Association, more than 55 million Americans will travel this Thanksgiving, the second-highest number since 2000. No matter how long you will be away, you must take measures to protect your home and property during your holiday travel. Even though the majority of burglaries occur during the summer months, thieves still love to take advantage of your holiday travel plans.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe This Thanksgiving

To make sure your holiday is safe and stress-free, follow these simple tips to keep your home and property safe this Thanksgiving and any time you are traveling.

Manage your mail delivery.  

There is nothing more attractive to a burglar than an overflowing mailbox. A significant clue that you are traveling is an ignored pile of letters and newspapers in front of your home. For short trips, ask a neighbor if they will collect your mail while you are away. If you are traveling for an extended period, it might be smart to contact the United States Postal Service (USPS) to put a temporary hold on your mail.

Install timers for indoor and outdoor lighting.

To a thief, a dark house is a potential target. A savvy burglar will notice when lights are off in the evening, or when the lights have not been on for days. To make a thief think twice about targeting your home, place your indoor and outdoor lighting on timers. Timers can be set to turn on just before the sun goes down. You can also throw off would-be burglars by setting your timer to turn lights on at various times during the night, giving the appearance of a busy, occupied home.

Be mindful of your social media activity.

Social media sites like Facebook and community sites like Nextdoor are great platforms for sharing information, photos and fun times, especially during the holidays. But just like you might peruse your news feed, people with criminal intentions may also be scouring these platforms to see who is out of town. Avoid posting your travel plans or sharing many details about your trip. Consider turning off your location services when making posts on social media, so your exact location is not readily available to thieves.

Invest in a home security system.

A home security system is one of the best ways to protect your home when you’re away. After all, not everyone can hire their own private security guards to protect their homes during their Thanksgiving travel! A reliable home security system is the next best option. There are a variety of options at price points for any budget. Most popular systems can be monitored right from a smartphone. You can get real-time notifications of any disturbances as soon as they occur. Often, installing a security system sign in a visible location in front of your home can be enough to deter a thief from attempting to target your property.

Secure all doors and windows.

Although it might seem obvious, be sure to check and then double-check, all doors, windows and other potential entrances to your home. An astounding number of burglaries occur because homeowners have forgotten to close a window or lock a seldom-used rear door. Don’t forget to secure windows on upper floors as well. Persistent burglars have been known to use tree limbs, ladders and sheds to access second-level entry points. 

Don’t leave a hidden spare key.  

Hiding a spare key might seem like a smart idea. It can be a lifesaver for those times when you forget your keys at the office. However, experienced burglars know the typical hiding spots. Even if they just get lucky, it’s a risk that you shouldn’t be willing to take. If you are traveling overnight, give your spare key to a neighbor who is staying in the area instead of leaving the key hidden outdoors. In case there is an emergency, you can have peace of mind that someone you trust can access your home.

Take Safety Seriously This Thanksgiving

Any time you travel, it pays to take some extra time to secure your home and property. By following the tips above, you can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a burglary or vandalism this holiday travel season. 

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