Spending time with friends and family during the holiday season is our primary focus at this time of year. Celebrating with our loved ones reminds us of all that is good in our lives. While we are spending time making precious memories, we also need to be thinking of our safety as well. The simple things we do can keep us safe and secure during the craziest and busiest time of the year.
Many of us live in areas where we feel secure enough to leave our doors unlocked at certain times. Many thieves target these quiet and comfortable neighborhoods hoping that residents will leave a door or window unlocked for easy access. Don't be a target! Keep your doors locked and install a DIY security system for added safety.
The worst thing you can do is broadcast what gifts you receive. Posting pics of your high-end facilities online or leaving the boxes on the curb for trash pick-up is like creating a shopping list for predators. Avoid posting pics of your gifts and breakdown your packages. Take any cardboard packaging to your closest recycling center.
A dark house is usually an empty house. Leave a light on in your living room or bedroom. It is usually an effective deterrent to keep burglars away. Set a timer if you will be gone for more than a few hours. Intelligent lights are ideal for this safety tip.
Another sure sign that you aren't home is sidewalks and driveways that haven't been cleared. If you will be gone for two or three days, hire one of your neighborhood kids to keep your walkways clear of snow. Have them pick up your newspaper and mail it as well. It's the little things that may give your secret away.
Get to know your neighbors and watch out for one another. If you have outdoor video cameras make sure that you review your footage occasionally. What you have on video may solve a robbery in your area. Having video cameras, in plain sight is an excellent way to scare off burglars.
If you are planning a trip, don't post your plans on social media. The more information you post online, the more you provide to people who may want to break into your home. Avoid posting pics online until you get back home; then you can share all the fun memories you made.
If you stay home for the holidays, reduce your fire risk at every turn. Avoid using extension cords or covering electrical cords with rugs and furniture. Keep flammable items away from open flames. Closely monitor your stove, fireplace, and any lit candles. Make sure you have a fully charged fire extinguisher on every level of your home.