You’ve returned home from a relaxing holiday vacation only to find an open door with belongings scattered throughout your home, disarrayed drawers, missing electronics and an empty jewelry box that was once filled with valuable family heirlooms. Suddenly, you fall into a panic. How could this have happened? What do you do next? And most importantly, what can you do to prevent this from happening to your home again in the future?
If you’re going out of town for the holidays it’s important to know how to protect your home from all of the big, bad grinches out there. That’s why we’re gifting you with five quick tips and tricks to help protect your home during the holidays to give you peace of mind.
- Don’t Make Your Home a Target: The first thing that burglars look for when scoping out the perfect home are telltale signs that you’re away. Such clues include no cars in the driveway, left out trashcans, un-retrieved newspapers and entry lights that are either left burning for days or are always off. Keep burglars away the next time you’re out of town by investing in a light timer like this Indoor Digital 7-Day Lamp Timer from Walmart to give your home a lived in look so it’s less attractive to burglars. Looking for an outdoor timer? This Brinks Outdoor Analog Timer might be just the thing to scare away any outside lurkers. Also consider enlisting the help of a trusted neighbor while you’re away to take care of your trash, newspaper and clean up papers and debris that end up on your front door.
- Secure Your Home’s Doors and Locks: According to SafeWise, “A surprising 30 percent of burglars entered the home through an unlocked door, window or other opening without resorting to force.” Avoid being a part of this statistic altogether by replacing your home’s broken locks on doors and windows with sturdy locks and fastened deadbolts. Home Depot offers tons of door locks and deadbolt options to help keep your home safe like this SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt for added security or this Brass Deadbolt Featuring SmartKey, which was voted “as a best buy for residential locks” in the 2014 Consumer’s Digest. Want to kick up the security another notch? Consider investing in this Touchscreen Deadbolt with an alarm that can be controlled through your wireless smartphone anywhere in the world.
- Invest in Technology: According to the Washington Post, “homes without security systems are about three times as likely to be broken into than homes with security systems.” That being said, it’s important to protect your home from the inside out. Consider investing in security alarms and cameras for placing around your home like this Wireless Portable Alarm System with two door and window sensors or this SkyLink Net Connected Home Alarm Starter Kit with a self-monitored security system. Not finding what you need? Check out this list of recommended security alarm systems from Consumer Affairs. You can also help eliminate your home as an easy target for thieves with this Outdoor LED Bluetooth Motion Security Light that uses innovative Bluetooth smart Technology to allow sensor control straight from your smart phone device. Talk about keeping live tabs on your home while you’re away!
- Store Your Valuables Wisely: According to the Washington Post, the first stop of burglars is usually the master bedroom because that’s where most people store their valuables including cash, jewelry, electronic equipment and easy-to-sell items. Consider taking precaution by storing your valuables in a secure safe like this Sentry®Safe Waterproof Fire Safe with a hidden keypad and audible alarm from Office Max or this Stalwart Electronic Digital Steel Safe with a built-in alarm from Staples.
- Don’t Give Burglars A Helping Hand: Last but certainly not least, remember not to make it easier for thieves to do their “jobs.” If you have bushes and shrubs around your home, think about clearing some of them out to make it more difficult for burglars to hide. Also be sure to secure your tool sheds and ladders so burglars don’t have the opportunity to steal tools from around your property or easily reach your second-story window.
Bonus Holiday Tip: Searching for a clever holiday gift for that friend who is always looking to amp up their home security? This FakeTV, a small and inexpensive gadget that mimics a television set with glows and flashes and makes a home look occupied, might just be the perfect gift to ward off those pesky burglars.