While this may be considered the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season is also a popular time for home break-ins. But with a few simple precautions, you can keep your home safe as you enjoy everything the season has to offer. After all, no one wants to spend holiday time on the phone with their homeowners insurance company.
- Get a Timer: If you’re planning to travel, you can create the illusion that someone is home by installing timer switches on lights in your main living areas. Installing motion-detector spotlights outside your home is another way to discourage would-be robbers from being on your property.
- Keep Your Travel Plans Offline: While it may be tempting to post about your winter getaway on social media, this information could alert potential thieves that your home is vacant. Even with the highest level of security on your Facebook or Instagram accounts, posting this kind of information is never recommended. Be sure to adjust your privacy settings for event RSVPs as well.
- Inform Your Neighbors: Asking a neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you are away is a good idea. It is also wise to ask if they can take in your mail. Nothing screams “I am not home” more than a pile of mail on the doorstep. This goes for newspapers and deliveries too.
- Don’t Be a Show-Off: If you received a new 65″ smart TV, you may not want it propped up in front of the window for all to see. More importantly, don’t leave the box of any sought-after item at the curb. Instead, break it down, making sure to fold it up in reverse so no one will know about your new toys.
- Keep It Under Wraps: Believe it or not, many potential intruders will look through your trash for evidence of gifts and good tidings. It might be a good idea to hold trash bags and all packaging in the house or garage as long as you can before putting them to the curb for pick up. Likewise, you may want to think twice about posting pictures of your home and valuables on social media.
- Follow Your Instincts: Although we love to be generous during the holiday season, there are some who use the holidays for nefarious means. Make sure to not let anyone suspicious into your home, even if they claim to be delivering a package or seeking charity. Ask for credentials before making any decisions, and even then, don’t feel bad about turning them away if you are unsure.
- Take Stock: Lots of folks sit back and examine their lives at the end of the year. It is also a perfect time to take stock of what you have and what has changed in your home. Make sure you photograph or video record your important possessions and add them to your insurance policy. This is especially important for new items like jewelry, artwork, furs, cars, antiques, and other rare and valuable heirlooms.