Many people visit relatives or go away during the holidays, leaving their home all alone. Just like the movie “Home Alone”, there are burglars lurking ready to rob you, most likely burglars who are more intelligent than Harvey and Marv. There is no need to spend your holiday away worrying about your expensive valuables at home – follow these helpful tips to keep your home safe during the holidays.
Automatic timers – While you’re away, you want to make it look like someone is at home. A great way to do this is to purchase automatic timers for both your indoor and outdoor lights. You can select a time for your lights to switch on and off. Since it is getting dark early, set your lights to turn on at about 6 p.m. You can set the lights to turn off at 9:30 p.m., an acceptable bed time hour.
Security system – If you have a security system, you want to make sure no one outside your home can see you while setting it. Be sure that you do not have a mirror near your security system so no one lurking outside is able to see you entering your code through the reflection. When entering your security code, place your body in front of it and use your other hand to block it from anyone that might be around.
Fake security – For those who do not want to purchase a security system, you can create the illusion that your home is protected. This can be achieved by installing fake or non-working security cameras outside your home. You can also purchase fake security system decals and signs online. Burglars will most likely stay away from homes that appear to be protected by security.
Mail – A dead giveaway that you’re away from home is having mail and delivery boxes filling up your mailbox and porch. Have a friend or a trustworthy neighbor pick up your mail and any deliveries for you every day while you’re gone. It is also a good idea to have someone shovel your sidewalk and porch to make it look like you are still home. Telling your trustworthy neighbors you’ll be gone is a good idea in general. Your neighbors will be able to keep an eye out for suspicious activity around your home. Only tell the neighbors that you trust and have known for a long time that you’ll be gone.
Status Update – As excited as you might be about going away, keep it off social media. Posting that you’re going to Hawaii for the next week is broadcasting to the entire world that your home will be vulnerable during the time you’re away. Most insurance companies have been changing their policies to homeowner’s insurance – they will not reimburse home burglaries if a going away post has been made on social media. Keep your belongings safe and save the status updates and pictures for when you get back.