December is an exciting month full of family get-togethers, parties, vacations, gift giving etc. Sometimes we get so busy enjoying all the fun of Christmas that we forget to take the necessary steps to keep our home and valuables safe and sound. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who may use this time of year to take advantage of distracted or vacationing homeowners.
Here are Five tips that will keep your home from becoming a target, and help you enjoy the Christmas and New Year season.
Basic Security - Keep your doors and windows locked at all times and do not leave a key anywhere on your property. Try not to run your outside Christmas light cords through an open window; this is an obvious indication that there is an easy opening into your home. Instead, use solar or battery operated lights, or consider installing an inexpensive exterior outlet.
Watch Your Trash - As excited as you are about expensive gifts that you have purchased or received, it’s not good to advertise that your home is full of items worth stealing. Thieves will check your curbs for packaging and signs of large items like HDTVs, electronics and computers. Bundle the packaging unobtrusively and place broken down boxes in bags or trash containers.
Protect Your Privacy - People who regularly use social media, often post the details of what they are doing over the Christmas Season, including their vacation plans. It’s not wise to publicize the fact that your home will be empty over the holidays. Uploading photos of pricey Christmas gifts to sights like Facebook and Twitter can also provide a shopping list for anyone thinking of robbing your home. Also, don’t leave descriptive answering machine greeting informing callers that you are away over the holidays.
Enlist Your Friends - One of the best ways to protect your home any time of the year, and especially at Christmas; is to inform your neighbours and friends when you will be away. Have someone you trust pick up your mail and newspapers and keep your doorstep free of flyers. One of your neighbours could park in your driveway to give the illusion that someone is home. Community involvement is one of the best ways to protect your home this holiday season.
Keep Gifts Out of Sight - Don’t display your Christmas tree and gifts in your front window, easily visible from the street. It’s better to place your tree further inside the home and wait to put out packages until closer to Christmas. If you really want to have gifts under the tree before the holidays, keep your curtains closed at night.
Increasing your home security throughout the holidays will safeguard your valuables, protect the value of your home, ensure the safety of your family and could even lower you homeowner insurance premiums.
Take the time to make your home safer and enjoy a worry-free Christmas!
The Hisey-McDermott Team
Century 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage
467 Speers Road, Oakville, ON L6K 3S4
p: 905-845-9180 x 230