8 Tips for Home Safety
The holidays are the busiest time of the year for people who like to use this opportunity to leave town and visit friends and family. Sadly, it is also the busiest time of the year for burglars. If you’re planning to leave your home unattended this season, either as a homeowner or renter, you need to be extra cautious. Read on for eight tips to keep your home as safe as houses.
- LOCK DOORS AND WINDOWS: As obvious as it may seem, doors are the most common point of entry for burglars. In fact 60% of burglaries occur through a door, and 36% happen because the door was left unlocked. Make sure to not only have a lock, but a dead bolt installed as well.
- HOLD PACKAGES, MAIL & NEWSPAPERS: Take advantage of the Hold Mail Service from USPS.com and have the post office hold your mail until you return. Ask a friend or neighbor to check for packages delivered to the front door or for newspapers lying on the driveway. Stacked and unread newspapers are a dead giveaway that there’s no one home.
- KEEP LIGHTS ON: Turn on the front door lights and keep them on while you are away. Better yet, purchase a timer and have your lights turn on in the evening so it looks like someone is home.
- DON’T HIDE A KEY: While the rock you bought to hide your key under looks real to you, this is the first place a savvy burglar will look. And don’t even think about leaving a key under the welcome mat! If you have to leave a key, your safest bet is to leave one with the neighbor.
- KEEP THE PATHWAYS CLEAR: Rope in your neighbor or friends to rake leaves or shovel snow in order to keep the pathway to your front door clear. An unkempt pathway is an open invitation. In addition, make sure that hedges under windows around the house are trimmed and well lit.
- CLOSE THE CURTAINS/BLINDS: Your lovely Christmas tree and carefully wrapped gifts under the tree are usually visible through the window. Hide the presents or better still, close the blinds from prying eyes.
- RESIST BROADCASTING YOUR TRAVEL PATTERNS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Be careful what you post on social media about your travel plans for the holiday. And try your best to only post photos on your return.
- KEEP YOUR NEIGHBORS INFORMED: Be sure to inform your neighbors of your travel plans. And provide them with your cell phone number just in case. That way they can watch out for any unusual activity at your home. And when next they go away, you can return the favor.
Reprinted with permission from the National Sheriff’s Association.