I can’t believe I’m talking about this holidays already. Summer seemed to last forever, especially the warm temperatures, but I sent my kids to school in jackets this morning and Halloween is right around the corner. While I’m starting to compile wishlists and to-do lists to get ready for the holidays, I’m also thinking about ways to keep my home safe for the season. I live in the south, which is unfortunately the most burgled region in the US, according to Elite Fixtures. I’ve put together the following tips to keep your home safe for the holidays.
- Prevent your packages from getting stolen off your doorstep.
I do most of my holiday shopping online. It’s a very easy way to hide gifts from your kids. I’ve never been able to slip a pack of M&Ms in my cart without my kids noticing, much less an actual present! Still, I want to ensure my packages arrive as expected and aren’t stolen from my porch. While it is likely impossible to entirely prevent, there are a couple of things to make it harder for those package thieves. Install a doorbell cam or other security monitor. For a low tech option, you could purchase a package lockbox, and request deliveries be deposited inside. You could also see if your work would allow personal package deliveries. In my experience, the delivery companies have been relatively easy to work with if you do have to report a stolen package.
- Be discreet when disposing of packaging.
As I said earlier, I love buying gifts online, but with online shopping comes a lot of bags and boxes. It probably goes without saying that you’ll want to avoid leaving a large box emblazoned with an electronics brand by the curb. But don’t forget about the little boxes either — it’s a good idea to breakdown all of your boxes and make sure they’re tucked into your recycling bin. If you have more than you can fit, make a quick trip to your citizen’s convenience or recycling center.
- Don’t put your Christmas tree and presents in the front window.
As beautiful as it is to drive down neighborhood streets and see all of the lit Christmas trees sparkling in the windows, it’s unfortunately free advertising to burglars. See if you can find a different spot in your home to trim the tree, and keep your beautifully wrapped gifts out of sight. If you must display your tree for all to see, it might be a good idea to stash the gifts elsewhere, more hidden. Plus it’ll prevent tiny toddler fingers from tearing at the paper to take a peek before December 25th!
- Keep your home safe while traveling.
This last tip is good for anytime you leave your home for an extended period. Burglars commonly look for inactivity, so that’s essentially what you want to avoid. I ask our neighbors to keep an eye on the house and we leave a number so they can contact us in case of emergency or suspicious activity. We also have pets, and while the dog typically stays with family when we travel, we have a pet service come over to play with our cats. They’ll also bring in our mail and any packages, so they’re not a signal of our home’s unoccupancy. Lastly, and while this isn’t applicable to our family in the south, it’s a good idea to keep snow shoveled from your driveway while you’re away. I’d be willing to bet there’s a teenager in your area willing to make a few extra bucks while on school break!
I hope these tips prove helpful. The holidays are a magical time for most and just a few preventative measures can ensure a safe and warm home during the season.