Here are a few tips to keep your home safe this festive season:
1. Install security gates
1. Install security gates
Install security gates with sturdy locks in front of each outer door, as well as burglar bars on all windows. A high fence around the house with lockable gates is also a good option. Make sure that your gates are locked at all times. To help prevent easy access to your property, you can also install safety chains on doors, peepholes or an intercom system between the home and gate, front door or garage.
2. Automate your home
A home automation system can help keep burglars at bay. With home automation, you can turn lights on or off, or program the TV or radio to turn on at random times, from any location so that it appears as though someone's home even if you are not.
3. Don't leave clues
If you are planning to travel this holiday season with your family, don't make it evident to everyone. Arrange for someone to bring in the trashcan, pick up your newspaper, shovel your driveway, etc. Left at the front door for days, these are bound to peak a burglar's curiosity.
4. Stow away keys
Never hide any keys in conventional places, such as in pot plants or under doormats. Also, do not keep keys stuck in the keyhole. In case keys are lost, make sure you change your locks. Do not allow strangers on your premises or in your house without proper identification, especially at night.
5. Lock vehicles
Petty criminals are known to scan neighborhoods for unlocked cars. They'll take anything they can get their hands on - CDs, GPS devices, lose change, sunglasses and even personal identification information. Keep your car's doors locked at all times and never leave gifts or other valuables in plain sight.
6. Beware of fire hazards
Never leave fireplaces, menorahs, stoves, grills, etc. unattended. Keep candles away from curtains and ensure children and pets stay away from them. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure you test them monthly and replace the batteries twice each year.
7. Secure your mailbox
Often an overlooked aspect of your home, your mailbox contains a ton of personal information. Make sure you clear items such as personal checks regularly to avoid leakage of sensitive information. If possible, use a locked mailbox.
8. Buy home insurance
Cut down your stress by taking advantage of a good home insurance policy. Look for a comprehensive home insurance policy that covers the structure and contents of your home. While home insurance cannot prevent a calamity or accident, it decreases the financial impact of emergencies. Make sure you opt for a cover that suits your needs.
Don't let stress dampen your holiday festivities. Use these tips to take a proactive approach to home security and strengthen your home's defense mechanism. Happy holidays!