The holidays are full of great times with family and good friends, but as you’re out shopping or at a social event, it’s important to protect your home and your valuables.
While some thefts are crimes of opportunity, more skillful thieves will learn your habits before making a move. With some smart strategies and proactiveness, however, you can have the upper hand.
Following are several ways you can protect your home during the holidays.
1. Safeguard your new purchases.
Because online shopping is so prevalent, package swiping is exceedingly common. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your purchases from being stolen off your front porch, including:
- Monitoring the delivery process online to make sure you or someone else is home when packages are expected to arrive at your doorstep.
- Installing doorbell cameras that will send notifications to your mobile device if movement is detected on your porch.
- Having your packages delivered to a neighbor or family member who you know will be home.
- Having your packages delivered to a UPS or FedEx store where it can be held for pickup. Amazon also offers package lockers at locations including some Whole Foods Market, 7-Eleven, and Speedway stores.
- Asking someone you trust to be at your home to accept for the package.
Snow that hasn’t been shoveled or overgrown weeds are sure signs that you may be away for the holidays. Before you leave, make sure you take the time to clear your driveway and complete routine landscaping. If your trip is for a significant amount of time, consider asking a friend or hiring a contractor to maintain your property.
While you’re out of town, you can also pay attention to the weather reports to see if snowstorms are on the way. If they are, consider using an online app to contact a contractor who can shovel snow on demand. Such businesses include Touch Plow, SnoHub, and Plowz & Mowz, which works with many Michigan municipalities to provide this service to local residents.
3. Install a general home security system.
No matter where you live, installing a home security system will provide you with additional peace of mind when you’re away. It’s like having extra eyes on your home, as many home security providers offer a digital system that alerts them when something unusual is happening.
4. Activate an automated lighting system.
The age-old concept of leaving a light on inside your home while you’re away is a good one, but it’s definitely been modernized, thanks to today’s home automation such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. You can install a timed lighting system that will turn lights on and off throughout multiple rooms at different times, making it appear as though someone is walking from room to room inside the house.
5. Place a hold on your mail.
A full mailbox indicates that you’re away, so contact the local post office to place a hold on your mail. Doing so can help protect your home from burglars and the mail itself from would-be identity thieves.
6. Make sure your valuables aren’t visible through your windows.
Shut your curtains and close your blinds to keep your valuables hidden. You may also want to place a large plant against the inside or outside of the windows to further block the view of the inside of your home. Shoveling snow against a lower level window is another smart way to prevent prowlers from looking in.
7. Don’t advertise your plans on social media.
Planning to see your family or spend 10 days at a tropical resort for the holidays is exciting. It’s not surprising you want to share your plans with your friends and family, but you never know who might be seeing these plans. You don’t want to alert too many people that your home will be vacant, so avoid doing so. You can share all the pictures and stories you want when you return.
Have a great trip!