12 Tips How to keep your home safe over the Festive Season
Whether you live in a house or flat, if you’re going away soon, then follow these tips.
So it’s finally December and you’re going on holiday after the demanding year that was 2019. Such joy! Such relief!
But what happens to your home while you’re away? It’s no secret that many people go on holiday at this time of year and their homes might be more susceptible to break-ins.
We’ve rounded up a few tips so you can have peace of mind while you’re away on holiday.
“Christmas season is the best time of the year. It’s a time for family, friends, and lots of merriment. Sadly, statistics also indicate that burglaries around this time of the year spike exponentially. This has a lot to do with the fact that burglars are aware that there are lots of gifts in the house and probably extra money lying around. “ Says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of MultiNET Homeloans.
Keeping all of that in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips for you to protect your home and keep it secure during the holidays.
Make Sure Gifts Aren’t Visible From Outside
It’s such a common sight during this time of the year – a frosted window from which you can see a beautiful Christmas tree all lit up, with dozens of gifts underneath it. This sight is enough to make a potential burglar size up your house. With all those gifts in plain sight, how are they supposed to resist?
That’s why you need to make sure that your tree and the gifts underneath it are not visible from outside. Remove temptation and you reduce the chances of becoming a burglary victim.
Watch What You Post on Social Media
Potential burglars are like hawks on social media. They look through posts seeking out information on the types of gifts people have gotten, or when they plan to leave their homes for Christmas shopping or for vacation.
The information you choose to post online can be used against you. Therefore, take care not to post about valuables that may be in your home under the Christmas tree, or when the house will be empty.
Assess your weak points
Pretend as if you’ve locked yourself out of your house and need to get back in. Try all the obvious access points and maybe ones only you would think of. Can you get in without your keys? Then so can anyone else. Think about getting those access points secured.
Be Careful About Disposing of Packaging
If you’ve gotten gifts during the holiday season, you may get so caught up with enjoying them that you don’t pay attention to disposing of the packaging. If you put the packaging out in the trash, which will then be sitting by the curb waiting to be picked up, you’re basically telling the whole world what sort of gifts are inside.
Burglars are always on the lookout for such garbage items. That’s why you need to be very careful about disposing the packaging.
Don’t Run External Lights through a Window
Those pretty lights which adorn the exterior of your home need to be plugged in, right? Correct! Just make sure that you don’t run their wires through a window or door leading inside. That little wedge that the wire will leave is all a burglar needs to pry their way in.
Make Sure Your Home is Well-Lit
Remember, thieves and burglars love operating under the protection of darkness. When visibility is low, they can do whatever they please while knowing that no one will be able to see what they are up to. If your house is well-lit, the chances of any ‘funny business’ taking place on your property are reduced. Make sure you have floodlights or motion activated lighting around the exterior of your home.
Put Your Lights on a Timer
Another quirk that burglars are known for is getting down the perfect time to break into a home. They do this by waiting for signs of inactivity or absence of occupants. One tell-tale sign that broadcasts that no one is home is when the lights are off.
That’s why you should put your Christmas lights, as well as some lights on the interior and exterior of your home on a timer. With these lights on, a burglar won’t feel so sure about the fact that your house is empty.
Make Use of Motion Sensors
Motion sensors trip when they detect movement around a certain perimeter. They can activate lights, or an alarm. Setting up motion sensors on your property is a good way to effectively deter anyone from breaking into your home.
Make sure the house looks occupied
Even if you’re not able to get someone to actually stay at your place, perhaps get someone (like a neighbour) to take the mail inside, switch the lights on at night and off in the morning and take your bin to the side of the road when it needs to be collected. Perhaps even leave the TV on during the day so it seems as if someone is home.
Get a house sitter
Getting someone to look after your house or flat while you’re not there is a great idea. Not only will they be able to give your house that extra layer of security by showing potential burglars that there is someone home, but they can also look after your pets and/or plants while you’re away.
Be Wary of Door to Door Donation Seekers
During the holiday season, you’ll have people seeking donations for various charitable causes. The unfortunate thing is that you can’t really be sure about whether these individuals actually do represent the organisations that they claim to. It could be a sham where they try to get some money out of you, or they may carry out some form of a survey from which they can try to determine when would be the best time to break into your home.
Caution: Be wary, do not give out any personal information, and don’t give out any money without properly ascertaining their credentials.
Secure Your Home
Last but not least, make sure your home is secure during the holiday season. Check your windows and doors to make sure all locks are intact. If you don’t have one already, invest in a home security system which will protect your home and your family.
If there’s no one able to look after your house this holidays, or even if there is, make sure your home is very secure. If you live with parents, rent from a landlord, or have your own home, discuss getting locks fitted on your windows, steel gates at the entrances and deadlocks on your doors.
Also, make sure you don’t leave tools or large items like ladders lying around the outside of your house so that they cannot be used as means to break into your home. If you have a shed/garage, then make sure to secure it with a strong lock.
Rademeyer ends with “Christmas season is a merry and busy time. Unfortunately, burglars and thieves try to cash in on the spoils of the season by burglarising homes. For this reason, you should take proper steps to ensure that your home is secure from all possible threats. By taking these steps, you can effectively reduce the chances of becoming a victim to a burglary.”