Although you might think break-ins only happen when people are away, the holiday season is prime time for home burglaries. Many aspects of your home can leave clues that tell burglars your home is vulnerable. From holiday lights plugged in through an open window to a Christmas tree advertising presents are inside; and from leaving the door open for expected guests to deliveries left on your front porch… burglars are on the prowl to do a little “window shopping” of their own. It would be prudent to take heed of some home security tips for the holidays.
That is why homeowners should be prepared to up their home security through the holiday season. To help protect your family and home during this festive time of year, it’s important to pay attention to areas of vulnerability. You can follow these holiday home security tips to keep you safe and sound.
Always Use Exterior Outlets For Lights
Although you traditionally hang a Christmas wreath on your front window, complete with pretty white lights, if your only source of power comes from inside your house, this is very unsafe. When lights are plugged in through a small slit in an open window or door, it provides an easy entrance for intruders looking for holiday vulnerabilities. Home security tips for the holidays call for extra diligence, with all windows kept securely closed and locked to avoid break-ins.
Fix Broken Window Locks
Since we don’t tend to open our windows very often during the winter months, we might not notice windows are either unlocked or have faulty locks. Check all windows to make sure they are locked securely, whether you are home or worried about home security while you’re on holidays. Unlocked windows are a common entry point for burglars, especially when they are on the main floor.
However, windows accessible via a tree or nearby shed provide a step up to the second floor, making these upper windows just as vulnerable. Burglars will do a quick check of windows to see if they are open before moving on to the next target. If windows are older, you might consider installing new windows as an added security step. This will ensure all windows lock tightly and securely to reduce the risk of break-ins. Broken hardware such as latches, locks, and window cranks impact home security more than you might think. Home security tips for the holidays always include secure windows with fully functioning locks and hardware.
Beware Of Porch Pirates
Your front porch becomes pretty busy during the holidays, with multiple deliveries potentially arriving during the day. This makes your home vulnerable to “porch pirates” who roam the streets looking for the opportunity to grab gifts sitting out in the open. Provide delivery instructions when you place your order, asking couriers to place packages out of sight in your backyard or at the side of the house. You can also have them delivered to your workplace or a neighbour’s house if they are home during the day. Also, avoid leaving notes on the door to couriers as this is a sign to burglars you won’t be home for a while. This provides them with ample time to break in.
Secure Your Front Door
Your entry is not only the place you hang your traditional holiday wreath. It is also the preferred access for burglars. Old doors can be kicked in with little effort, while insufficient locks make it very easy to gain access with a few handy tools of the burglar trade. This is the perfect time of year to arrange for a new entry door installation. It provides a festive welcome for holiday guests, improves curb appeal, increases energy efficiency in the cold winter months, and greatly improves your home’s security.
Consider Smart Lock Technology
If your door lock is not secure, you can also consider installing a new door handle and lock complete with smart lock technology. You can choose from a wide range of levers, knobs, deadbolts and grip sets, and pair them with a state-of-the-art smart lock to make it more difficult for intruders to gain entry. Not only will you have a more secure door lock, but also ease of entry as you won’t need keys. This makes it easier to enter your home when your arms are full of gifts! They come in a wide assortment of styles and colours, allowing you to create the ideal look for your front door.
Secure Your Patio Door
Back entries are another point of entry for intruders. Older patio doors don’t have the latest security features, which can make it easier for burglars to access your home from the back. This is a favourite access point because burglars are less likely to be seen by neighbours and passersby. Modern sliding patio doors have security bars running across the width of one glass panel, securing the moveable panel into place. If you have garden doors, grip sets, knobs, levers, deadbolts and smart locks are available.
Don’t Place Empty High-Tech Product Boxes At The Curb
If you purchase high-tech gifts for your family, such as TVs, computers, home theatre equipment, etc., placing the empty boxes at the curb on recycling day is an open invitation for burglars to come and steal your brand-new electronics. Always cut up boxes clearly marked with popular name brands to avoid burglars detecting you have valuables in the house. Slicing the box into smaller pieces to break up the wording and logo helps camouflage the boxes to make them less recognizable. This is one of the more overlooked holiday home security tips that homeowners often don’t think about, but it’s worth the time it takes to not draw extra attention to your home.
Don’t Hide Home Keys
Whether you’re expecting visitors, are away and need the dog walker to get into your home, or just always keep a spare key handy in case of emergency, hidden home keys can be discovered a lot quicker than you think. As mentioned above, smart lock technology gets rid of old-fashioned keys, allowing you to provide a keypad code to people who need to enter your home.
These home security tips for the holidays will help keep your home safe, whether you are vacationing on a Caribbean beach or celebrating closer to home with family and friends.
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