The majority of burglaries happen during the summer months, but December sees a sharp spike in break-ins. It seems like the season of giving is also the season of free-for-alls for criminals. Remember these key anti-burglary tips to keep safe whether you’re traveling or sticking close to home.
Make sure your home looks picture perfect. Crooks aren’t the most industrious type, and are always on the prowl for easy pickings. If it looks like you’re home, chances are they’ll move on somewhere else during the holiday season. Junk mail delivery is a little harder to control, so you should ask a trusted neighbor to keep a look out and remove any items that accumulate.
You may be a social media maven, but don’t let the online world know that you’re heading out for the holidays. The only people that benefit from these kinds of social media postings are the wrong kind. You can’t control who sees what you write on the internet, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Bad guys don’t like attention and try to stay out of the limelight as much as possible. A well-lit home is an ideal deterrent to would-be thieves. They prefer sneaking around in the shadows, which is a little difficult when you have outdoor lighting. Don’t go overboard illuminating the place like Fort Knox. A few strategically placed lights will usually do the trick.
Guys love playing with this stuff and they make great theft deterrents. Make sure you have at least a couple of highly visible cameras covering the entrances to your home. Enterprising thieves have been known to defeat these deterrents by cutting cables or spray painting the lenses. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a few covert cameras as backup. They won’t stop a theft, but they’re likely to provide enough information to catch a thief.
Using motion sensors and electronic timers in addition to lighting is an even greater theft deterrent. Thieves are rarely the sharpest tool in the shed; even the mere thought that someone might be home is usually enough to send them running. Avoid buying cheap timers that go on at sunset and turn off at night because you’re not fooling anyone. For a few extra dollars you can buy one that lets you control the lighting down to 15-minute intervals for a realistic someone-is-home effect.
So you got some amazing gifts for Christmas? You’re not the only one who will know if you put those empty boxes outside. Make sure you’re not a walking billboard. Don’t leave blinds open for everyone to see your Christmas tree and gifts. If you’re unloading expensive items, make sure you do it out of sight in the garage.
Where there’s a will there’s a way, and sometimes the bad guys win. That’s why it pays to keep a tidy home. Not only does it look nice, it makes it easier to figure out what has been stolen. Recording serial numbers, markings and photographing expensive items is also recommended. Security labels or permanent marker have proven to be equally effective at tracing stolen items.
Homes are built to keep out bad weather, not bad people. Yet using even a few of these tips will go a long way in deterring would-be thieves this holiday season. Most break-ins are committed by amateurs who have no interest in confronting a homeowner. Given the possibility that someone could be home, most of these bad boys will head off to greener pastures.