Industry statistics show that, during the holiday season, normal crime rates soar to around 20% higher than the normal average. It’s not difficult to discern why. Between packages left on doorstops and Christmas tree presents glimmering inside open blinds, there are no shortage of opportunities for thieves to sneak a peek at what’s on your wish list.
The good news? Today’s home security market is riper than ever before with innovative, cost-affordable solutions that can keep both your home and your property safeguarded. From smart locks to smart lights, you can invest in these automated solutions to control your home, even when you’re halfway around the world. Yet, once those are installed, there are even more measures you can take this holiday season to deter theft. Today, let’s take a look at five steps that can get you on the road to a more secure, protected home.
Steps to Take While You’re Home
The preventative measures you’ll take while you’re away are different from those you can handle while you’re on the premises of your property. Let’s take a look at the latter, first.
1. Make Boxes Less Visible
Start by getting in your packages off your front stoop or porch as soon as they’re delivered. Even leaving them for a few hours can lure passersby to take a second look. Then, take a look around your home once you’re back inside. Is your Christmas tree located near a window? If so, ensure that the blinds are closed or the curtains are pulled tightly, especially as dusk and nighttime appear, your interior lights go on and everything is illuminated from the inside out. You may also consider moving your tree to a location that is less visible to those driving or walking by on the outside.
2. Discard of Boxes Discreetly
Once you open your packages and remove what’s inside, resist the urge to just pile the boxes by the curb for the garbage collector. Doing so can tip off would-be thieves that you have plenty of valuables inside of your home. Instead, break the boxes down and place the material inside your garbage or recycling bin.
3. Lock Up, and Not Just Your Windows
We might believe that a thief will always enter from the front door, but we know that’s not always the case. From back porch doors to second-story windows, if you have an entryway into your home, it’s essential that you properly lock it. Especially if you’re the type to get halfway to your destination and wonder if you remembered to bolt the exterior basement door, it’s wise to invest in a smart home security solution that includes smart locks you can control from anywhere. Do your research and learn more about these types of products to determine how they fit into your home’s security plan.
While You’re Away
Are you planning to spend the holidays on vacation or with your family that lives apart from you? If so, know that your loved ones aren’t the only ones who will be happy when you lock up and head out.
4. Get Boxes Out of Sight
To make your home less susceptible to a break-in while you’re gone, you can ask the postal service to hold your mail so you can pick it up later. Some UPS specialty members may have this option, as well. If you don’t want to go this route, at least request that a neighbor or local friend pick up your packages every day to keep them from sitting outside for too long.
5. Monitor and Control Remotely
If your security system has an integrated mobile app option, you can usually keep an eye on your property even when you aren’t there. Check to see if your exterior and/or interior security cameras can be synced to the app so you can check in and take action if required.
In addition, put your smart lights on a timer to turn on and off on a regular basis. This activity makes it look like someone is living in your home. Even if you don’t have a smart solution, you can hook a programmable timer onto existing lights as an alternative.
Bonus Section: Traveling Smartly and Safely
If you’re weaving in and out of airport crowds, you could be a target for a pickpocket, especially if you’re dragging around expensive, high-end luggage that reveals your love of luxury. That’s why some experts recommend investing in simple luggage that isn’t too eye-catching.
Also, be sure to keep a close eye on your personal belonging as they’re loaded onto the conveyor belt during inspection, while you’re using the restroom and when you’re sitting at your terminal gate. Keep your bags close to your body and wait to pull out your credit card or cash until it’s necessary. Once you arrive at your destination and park your vehicle, you can lock your personal belongings in the trunk or cover them with a blanket if they must be kept out for accessibility.
Enjoying a Relaxing, Stress-Free Holiday Season
As we prepare to close out this year and ring in the next, there are myriad wintertime precautions you can take to keep your home and family as safe as possible. Communication is key throughout to ensure a successful implementation.
Make sure everyone in your family knows how to operate your smart home from the centralized portal. If you have young children who could easily swipe the screen or press a wrong button, consider adding passwords or other authorization measures to ensure the controls don’t end up in the wrong hands. Once you’ve taken these small but important steps, you’ll be that much closer to achieving the peace of mind and silent nights you’re looking for this time of year.