Tips for Avoiding Burglaries During the Holidays
There are a number of actions a homeowner can take to protect themselves and their possessions from burglaries. Many of these are common sense and can prevent intrusions during the holidays.
Add a security sign to your yard or post it conspicuously on your door and front window. Even if you don’t have a system, it may give a burglar pause and decide to try someone else. Since you are posting signs, try one that says “Beware of Dog”. If you do that, remember to add a large dog food bowl outside, but not something pristine; get one that is a little older-looking.
Install cameras, outdoor floodlights, and other deterrents. Be sure to place them high enough that the burglar can’t reach them and take out the light bulb or obscure the camera lens.
Consider a home security system. Many of them will qualify the homeowners to a discount on their premiums.
- Turn that cardboard box inside out before dragging it to the curb for trash or recycling. Otherwise, you are just letting everyone know about the big-ticket items you just installed.
- When traveling, keep all those social media posts for your return. That includes your children as well.
- Don’t store extension ladders outside along the foundation of your house. You are just offering someone easy access to the upper floors of your home.
- Drive around the block or walk around the house after dark. If you can see tempting items from the sidewalk or street, you are letting someone know how easy it is to smash and grab. You may want to move some items or close your blinds earlier.
- Look for landscaping hiding spots. Trim foliage frequently.
- Make friends with your neighbours, especially those who work odd shifts or retirees. These are people who are more likely to come and go at odd hours and who will notice strange vehicles.
- Be sure to put tools away. That goes for children’s bikes or other expensive toys.
- Don’t leave a voice message on your phone indicating you are out of town.
- As much as possible, don’t leave car doors and garage doors open or unattended as you put away groceries or other packages.
Locks and Bolts
Install deadbolts on all exterior doors as well as those from an attached garage. Make sure it is Grade 1. Add a heavy-duty strike plate with screws that will penetrate the wall stud. The door frame can be reinforced with a door jamb product designed for that purpose.
As you are driving home, especially if the weather is bad, be cognizant of someone following you. There is a tendency to be so concerned with the roads and getting home early, that you can miss someone tailing you. Suddenly you are in the driveway with another car behind you and you can’t get away safely.
Just like you appreciate your neighbours watching your place, keep an eye out for anything unusual at their places as well. Report even small issues to the police.