Christmas is the season of goodwill to everyone. However, unless you intend to extend that festive generosity to your local criminal fraternity, it’s also the time of year when you should be extra-vigilant with your home security and protect yourself against holiday crimes.
Consider these tips to keep yourself, your property and gifts safe this Christmas:
Ask a trusted neighbor to watch your property
If you are going away for the Christmas holidays, ask one of your neighbors to keep a close eye on your property and report any suspicious activities to the local police department. You can even ask them to park on your driveway to let others know someone is at home.
Don’t hide spare keys near the entrance
Burglars know where to look for the hidden keys. Don’t hide keys in flowerpots, above door ledges or under rocks. Give it to a trusted neighbor if you are going to be away for the holidays. Make sure keys are kept out of sight.
Check with your local police department
Many local police departments have residential security check programs where residents can inform them if they are away from their property for a long period of time. Call the police department in your local area to check if they have any such capabilities.
Home Security Equipment
You should review your home security requirements on a regular basis anyway, but it’s wise to make a note on your wall calendar for the beginning of November to check that window and door locks fit properly, and that burglar alarms and entry phone systems are serviced. Make sure your home and insurance are also up to date, and that any new and expensive purchases you’ve made during the year are covered within it.
Turn off location tracker on social media
Although some retailers will give you incentives to check in when you shop with them, sometimes, it’s just not worth the discount if thieves have hacked the store’s social media accounts.
No need to publicize
Still on the subject of social media, don’t Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram pictures of your gifts, and take particular care not to mention how much you might have spent. If you tag a store, or a brand, you’re running the risk of people other than your friends list seeing what you’ve purchased, and it’s not hard to find out where you live if you check in when you get home. Also, if you are going out of town this holiday season, do not make updates on social media about your absence. There’s a good possibility that someone on your friend’s list knows where you live and break into your home while you are away.
Finally, observe good sense
Close the curtains, and don’t put beautifully-wrapped presents around the tree until early Christmas morning when the household is starting to get up. If you think extra eggnog means you’ll forget, put post-it around the house to remind you to lock windows and doors at night.