Is Your Home Safe for the Holidays?

Home security measures should be a concern any time of year, but wintertime calls for extra precautions to be put in place. People believe that cold weather is enough to stave off potential threats to their homes. In actuality, crimes such as theft skyrocket during the winter season as nighttime comes earlier and people are away from home more frequently. 

Whether it’s home break-ins or porch pirates, if you don’t take the proper precautions your house could become a burglar's next target. To prevent this, take a look at these basic safety measures for homeowners to enhance your security during the winter and holiday season. 

Light up your house. 

Since the winter sun sets earlier than the other seasons, it would be smart to invest in a lighting system that will illuminate your doorway as much as possible. 

Home invaders look for houses with dimly lit patios and entrances as this lowers the chances of being caught or identified. Timed lights and floodlights act as excellent deterrents for would-be robbers. It would be smart to think about interior lighting as well. Before you go to bed, leave a few strategic lights on in the kitchen or front hallway. The brighter your house, the lower the chances that your home will be targeted. 

Install an alarm system. 

Camera-based alarm systems are flooding the home security market right now. This means that you have a broad list of options to find one that suits your specific needs. If affordability is an issue, having a system that merely makes an alarming sound when a door or window is opened can be enough to drive out any unwanted guests. 

Clean up your yard. 

If a house is overgrown, the impression is that no one lives there. Burglars may assume that since your yard hasn’t been kept up, simple security measures like locked doors and windows may have been neglected too. Maintain the appearance of your home by keeping your driveway clean of snow and debris, cutting back bushes, shrubbery or trees and picking up mail. 

Make getting into your house a hassle. 

Burglars want a quick entry. That's why you should make it an absolute chore for people to get inside your home. There are a few simple ways you can do this, including: 

  • If you live in a cold environment, storming your doors is fairly common. These doors are thicker in order to provide more insulation when it starts to get chilly outside. These doors also create more of a physical barrier between the burglar and the inside of your home. 
  • A wooden dowel or something similar placed in the crevice of any sliding door or window can bar those entrances shut and make them nearly impossible to open. 
  • Bells or chimes placed on windows and doorways throughout your house can be a cost-effective way to be alerted when someone is attempting to enter your home. 

Think like a burglar.

Pretend for a moment that you want to break into your own home. By looking at your home security through this perspective, you will spot security vulnerabilities you never would have otherwise. Putting yourself into this mindset will highlight the weak spots, loose hinges and gaps in the windows that would give someone an easy opportunity to break into your home.  

Remove hidden keys.

Most people have a spare key hidden in a spot they think no one would ever discover. The unfortunate truth is that most people hide their keys in typical places that burglars are apt to find. A burglar has a high chance of finding that spare key under your mat, under the fake rock or in the planter, and then walking right through your front door. 

Watch your social media posts. 

It has become nearly habitual for us to post every aspect of our lives on social media. Whether you are going to work, school or on a vacation, be smart about what you share. Someone out there may know where you live and take the opportunity to visit your home while you are away. 

Make it look like someone is always home. 

If you have two cars, plan to carpool to and from work with someone, leaving the second car in the driveway so people assume someone is at home. If this isn’t possible, leave a light or the television on to give the impression that the house hasn’t been left vacant. Set timers on indoor and outdoor lighting to give the impression that someone has been home throughout the day. Ask a trusted neighbor to keep on eye on your home while you are gone. 

Hide gifts and packages. 

Since the holidays are just around the corner, packages are a frequent sight on porches or inside mailboxes. Porch pirates are all too aware of this and will be on the lookout for easy scores this holiday season. 

Here’s how to protect your packages from thieves:

  • If possible, schedule deliveries for when you or someone else will be home to bring them inside.
  • Hide all gifts. Don’t leave them under the tree or in a spot that would be visible from outside your home. 
  • Cut up all gift packaging before tossing it. Leaving the box for a new television or computer at the curb let’s others know you have valuable items inside your home. 

As you prepare for this winter season keep in mind the precautions needed to keep your family, your belongings and your home secure. By executing these security measures, you can have peace of mind and celebrate the season within the comfort of your own home. 

When you need security personnel who aim higher

Call Off Duty Officers, Inc. to find out how we can serve your business.

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