The Holidays. A time for joy, getting together with friends and family, giving gifts, and… break-ins?
Unfortunately burglars view the holiday season a little differently…for them, it is a time of opportunity to burglarize your home for cash, credit cards, and gifts.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, nearly 400,000 burglaries take place in the U.S. between November and December each year.
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) says families should be extra careful during the winter months, especially if your home is filled with new gifts or if you have impending travel plans.
Here are a few tips to help keep you, your family and your home safe during the Holidays.
However your home looks when you are home, is how it needs to look when you are away. Consider buying timers for your lights or having home automation which allows you to turn your lights on or off from your smartphone and gives you the ability to set “scenes” ahead of time so your lights come on and off automatically at times you have set. Our Lynx Touch and Tuxedo Touch security systems give you the ability to control your lights from your panel, and when coupled with Total Connect, you have the ability to control them straight from your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Ask your neighbors to make tracks in the snow going from the drive way to the front door and to park their car in your driveway from time to time. This will give the impression that you are home to potential burglars. Fresh snow drifts are a dead giveaway that your home is unoccupied. You can also put in a request with your local post office to hold your mail and packages while you are away.
Avoid posting your travel plans on social networking sites. You never know who may see them. Also, avoid posting pictures of your vacation until you return home.
Your loved ones are not the only ones excited by gifts, burglars can be too. Avoid placing wrapped or unwrapped presents where they can be viewed from the outside of the home. Keep them away from windows, doors and any other part of the house that gives outsiders a peek in. Do not put boxes in your trash that advertise expensive or valuable items. Instead, burn them or cut them up and place them securely in a trash bag and/or can. It is not all too uncommon for burglars to look at someone’s trash in order to determine the value of breaking into their home.
Windows and doors are main entry points into your home. Make sure they are secure. A solid door with updated locks and a window with locks can be the deciding factor in whether or not your home is a good target. Easy target homes are the ones most often broken in to.
People often have the misconception that a deadbolt lock will keep you secure. The area around the dealbolt needs to be secure as well. Use atleast 3 inch screws when securing your locks and be sure the door ways are solid and strong. If the doorway gives in when someone tries to kick in your door, the type of locks you have no longer matter.
If running an extension cord through a window for outside holiday décor, make sure to secure the window. Use a rod to keep the window from opening past a certain point.
Most burglars live in the neighborhood in which they commit the crime. When unloading your gifts from your car, be sure to look around and make sure no one is watching. It is also important to be mindful when loading your gifts into your car from the store. Make sure no one is following you to or from your car and be aware of any suspicious people lurking around. Avoid parking next to large vans as it not only hides you from the view of other people, but someone can be in the van waiting for an opportunity.
The biggest deterrent for burglars is an alarm system. According to statistics from a 2009 study by the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, an installed burglar alarm makes a home less attractive to intruders by 20 percent. Not only does it protect your home, but may help protect your neighbors’ as well. It has been found that neighborhoods where security systems are present are less likely to be a target for burglaries.
Modern Systems offers top of the line home security systems. With a trusted brand like Honeywell, you know you are getting reliable products. Whether you are in need of a simple system with a few door and window contacts, or a more complex system with sirens, cameras and remote access from your smart phone, we can help. Call and talk with a Systems Representative for a free, no obligation consultation and quote. 1-800-252-7664
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