Going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house this holiday season? Before you and your family leave town, make certain your home doesn’t attract Grinches who take advantage of an empty house to steal your Christmas joy. Put these tips from Secure Pacific to use to make your home less vulnerable to burglars.
1. Eliminate clues you’re away.
- Don’t broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, etc., that you’re away. Wait until you’re back home to post pictures on social media or share sites.
- Turn off your telephone ringer or turn the volume down.
- Don’t have a voice mail message indicating you’re gone.
- Make arrangements with a friend or trusted neighbor to daily collect mail and newspapers or temporarily stop delivery.
- Use automatic timers to turn on and off indoor lights and TVs at varying times of day.
2. Inspect doors and windows.
- You need solid frames, well fitting doors and windows, and strong, non-bumpable locks. If you aren’t sure how reliable yours are, talk to one of our experts.
- Don’t leave a key hidden outside your home. Instead, ask someone you trust to hold onto an emergency key for you.
3. Test outdoor lighting.
- Before leaving home, make certain all outdoor lights work and change any burned out bulbs.
- Install motion activated outdoor security lighting and illuminate the dark corners of your property.
4. Clean up the yard.
- Rake the leaves and complete late fall pruning; roll up the hose and put away any tools, ladders or mowers.
- Make certain landscaping allows for an unobstructed view of your doors and windows from the street; eliminate hiding places.
5. Out of sight.
- Keep valuables and, as much as possible, computers, laptops, video game systems and other portable electronics hidden from view of outside windows.
- Be discrete about new purchases. Hide gifts and completely breakdown and dispose of cardboard boxes from new purchases.
- Close blinds and window coverings to not tempt anyone looking in through the windows.
6. Lock ‘em up.
- Put toys, bikes, motorcycles, cars and other possible targets of theft or vandalism in the garage.
7. Guard the garage.
- Garages are a point of weakness for most homes year round.
- Make certain the door leading from your garage into your home has a strong, non-bumpable lock and USE IT.
- For an extra layer of security while away, unplug your automatic garage door opener. These are vulnerable to tampering and some can be opened by other people’s remotes.
8. Be neighborly.
- Get involved with your neighborhood association and start or join a neighborhood watch program.
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway a few nights while you’re away and do the same for them when they leave town.
9. Do a test run.
- Try breaking into your home or ask a friend to do it. Often, people can squeeze in through a pet door, attic hatch or second story window that’s always slightly cracked with little effort. If you can break in, a burglar can too.
- Let our monitoring center know when you will be away and how to reach you.
Holidays should be filled with joy and time spent with friends and family. Give attention to these security tips and reduce the curb appeal of your home to burglars. Make home security one more thing to check off your holiday to do list.