If you’re headed out of town for the holidays, don’t forget to take the necessary steps to keep your home safe. With so many homeowners planning trips, burglars know it’s high time to find the perfect target. According to CNN Money, December is the peak month for burglaries. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your home and your valuables. Here are five easy ways to keep your home safe this holiday season.
Hide Your Valuables
Just as you scour the Internet for the best deals on gifts, burglars scope out houses in search of the best loot. Big-ticket items or expensive electronics make your house an attractive target. Some of the most commonly stolen items include cell phones, laptops, cameras and TVs.
Make sure you don’t entice a burglar. Don’t leave valuables in plain sight, keep wrapped gifts hidden while you’re gone and try some of these strategic hiding spots for smaller items.
Upgrade Your Window Treatments
Another way to discourage unwanted intruders is to make it difficult to determine if someone is home. Keep the blinds or curtains drawn when you’re not home. Insect screens are also a great option, besides preventing pesky pests, certain types of screening can decrease exterior visibility to give you an extra layer of privacy, especially if your existing screens are torn.
Try this quiz to determine the best window screening option for your home. If a burglar can’t peek inside, he can’t be sure that you’re home and will likely choose another house instead of taking his chances.
Put Your Lights on Timers
Timed lights are another great fake-out strategy for increased home security. Some potential intruders spy on homeowners in advance to figure out their schedule. If you set your lights (and other electronics) to switch on and off at random while you’re away, a burglar won’t be able to find the ideal time to strike.
Automating your lights is easy, you can install wall timers or buy a Wi-Fi plug to sync with your smartphone and set up a schedule.
Don’t Post About Your Travel Plans
You may be excited to visit family or head to the mountains for a ski trip, but resist the urge to post your plans on social media. You never know who’s in your extended network; all they need is an indication that your home is vacant.
Also, wait until you get home to post your vacation pics. Better safe than sorry!
Make a List and Check it Twice!
This rule doesn’t only apply to Santa. Create a leaving-the-house checklist and run through it before you head out. In your haste to get out of town, you can forget simple things like locking your door. According to SafeWise, 34 percent of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door.
On your checklist, include reminders to set the alarm, close the windows, ensure your appliances are switched off, and unplug electronics to conserve energy and prevent any hazards.
When your home is secure, you can enjoy a worry-free holiday vacation. Wherever you’re headed this holiday season: have fun and be safe!
Maile Timon is a full-time blogger and content editor. She writes on health and fitness, lifestyle and family, real estate, education, business and more. When she’s not writing, Maile enjoys hiking in San Diego, CA.