It’s the holiday season — time for delicious food, presents, and get-togethers. It’s also the time for home burglaries. If you plan to leave to visit family and/or friends during the holidays, here are some home security tips and tricks to keep your belongings safe while you are away from home.
Appear to be Home
Returning home after a trip to find someone has invaded your personal space and stolen valuables is not only disturbing to your wallet but also your peace of mind. Just knowing that a stranger has broken into your home, rummaged through and taken off with your personal items stays with a homeowner for the rest of their lives. In some cases, the home is forever tarnished, and the homeowner never feels quite safe in what is supposed to be their personal haven.
To minimize the likelihood that your home will be burglarized, look at the outside of your home through the eyes of a thief. Looking like you are at home is the first step in discouraging a burglar.
- Do not leave garbage cans out at the curb
- Stop mail delivery until you return
- Have a neighbor keep an eye out for delivered packages, flyers, and newspapers & ask them to keep them for you until you return
- Set up timers and/or use LED bulbs so you can remotely control lights
- Prominently display an alarm company sign outside (even if you currently do not have an alarm system set up)
- Lock all doors and close garage doors
- Cut back shrubs near windows
- Install out-of-reach outdoor lighting with motion sensors
- Put up and close window coverings so unwanted eyes cannot peek in and see you are not home
- Do not keep jewelry and other high-valued items in the master bedroom (Burglars on average complete the job in 10 minutes and choose the master bedroom as the first and often the only location to commit the burglary.)
Some of these tips are obvious, however, it is important to double check and think ahead when planning to be out of town. After all, a burglar’s first goal is to find an empty house. If you appear to be home, the chances for break-in are decreased. This is also where investing in a little electronic security is a good idea.
If you don’t want to spend money on a monitored alarm system, consider installing an outdoor security camera by the front door. Believe it or not, most burglars ring the doorbell to see if anyone is home. A motion-activated wireless security camera can be set up to alert you when someone steps onto the front porch, enabling you to “answer the door” and discourage the thief.
Stay Safe When You are Home
Burglary becomes robbery when the person is home. Don’t put yourself in a situation for a face-to-face encounter of fear, intimidation, and possibly injury. While at home always lock doors, close windows, and close garage doors. If you do have an alarm system, turn it on even if you only leave to run a “quick errand”. The last thing you want to do is walk in on a burglary in process, opening you up to psychological or physical harm.
Overall, use common sense and do not set yourself up to be a victim. If you want a little extra protection, consider getting a dog. Most burglars say a barking dog is a sure ticket to stay away from a home. After all, most burglars are opportunists that look for an easy score. If it appears you are home, there are active alarms systems/cameras or a vicious canine, chances are they will move on to an easier score.
Timothy Dimoff – Speaker, National Expert, Author
Tim Dimoff’s engaging and thought-provoking presentations are sure to enlighten, inform and move you into taking action on such critical issues as workplace risks, substance abuse, security, and societal threats. Feel free to contact Tim today to speak at your organization.