With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, home and personal security may be at the bottom of your list. But, there are some holiday safety tips you need to keep in mind.
According to reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in the U.S., approximately 400,000 burglaries are reported between November and December every year.
It’s critical to stay vigilant, but luckily, prevention isn’t difficult and there are simple solutions to keep your home safe during the holiday season.
So, whether you’ll be traveling or nestled in at home, these holiday safety tips will keep your home and family safe and secure.
Holiday Safety Tips To Keep Your Home and Family Secure All Season Long
The holiday season is the best time to reinforce doors and windows, especially if you are planning a few days away from home. When breaking into a home, burglars look for doors and windows that can be easily accessed. Even if you lock your doors and windows, there can still be entryways that aren’t properly reinforced. If you spot any doors and windows with cracks or faults, get them repaired immediately or replace them with safer models.
Another important holiday travel safety tip is ensuring your home security system is working while you are away. Before you leave, check the cameras, motion detectors, timers, and so on. If you find any faulty home security system equipment, get it repaired or replaced immediately. Research by the University of North Carolina shows that 60% of burglars immediately leave a house that is equipped with an alarm system.
Home security systems these days come with advanced features that allow you to remotely access your home whenever you want. If you don’t have a home security system that allows you to remotely view your home, get one now. It doesn’t matter whether you are at the beach or trekking through the woods, as long as you have an active internet connection, you can view your home anytime.
Per Crime Doctor, burglars look for specific signs to assess if homeowners are gone, such as piles of mail and newspapers outside your home or outdoor lights that are switched on. To avoid showcasing that your home is vacant or divert the attention of burglars away from your home, you can request your neighbors to collect your mail and newspapers. You can also give them your home key before you leave and request them to check your appliances and lights at their convenience.
Excitement about traveling can urge you to advertise your travel on social media. But wait, try to resist the temptation as much as you can. Burglars can access your private social media accounts and see your whereabouts. Even casual mentions about an upcoming weekend lunch with friends can provide clues about your plans.
While it is a good idea to exchange gifts during the holiday season, it is not at all a good idea to put them on public display. If you have a beautiful Christmas tree at home, avoid displaying it near the door and windows. Christmas trees and gifts urge burglars to break into a home by smashing the windows.
Many people leave gifts in the car to hide them from their families. It may seem like the perfect hiding spot, but not when it comes to holiday home security. The sparkling gift wraps can tempt burglars to target your car.
Thanks to smart holiday home security devices, crime rates in the U.S., especially burglary continue to drop. With gifts getting delivered to your home now and then during the holiday season, it is important to secure your front porch with the following devices:
- Motion sensors – Active and passive sensors measure environmental changes and detect motion.
- Video camera doorbells – Video surveillance at the entrance can be used to enhance the security of your home.
- Smart locks – You can use access codes, smartphone-enabled controls and proximity detectors to digitally secure your entrance door.
- Security cameras – You can install security cameras at your entrance to record security breaches inside or outside your home.
Celebrations can be spoiled if gifts placed near fireplaces catch fire. Therefore, it is vital to take precautions during the holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), around 230 home fires start with Christmas trees every year. So, as much as possible, avoid placing wrapped presents near fireplaces as they are highly combustible.
Holiday Lighting Safety
While setting up external decorations is one of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season and showcase your excitement about the holiday season, it is equally important to look at holiday lighting safety. Here are a few things you can do to ensure holiday lighting safety during the holiday season:
- If you are planning to light up your home, ensure it is clean from ice and snow.
- Ensure the light bulbs and wiring are rated for external use. Place the bulbs away from materials that are combustible.
- Check every bulb and ensure none of them are cracked.
- Be careful while installing lights on the roof. Use a safety ladder and ensure you turn off the electricity from the mains supply before you start working with the wiring.
- Practice good fire safety.
Proper Furnace and Chimney Inspections
Before you start using your fireplaces during the holiday season, ensure you invest some effort, money, and time in furnace and chimney inspections. According to the NFPA, you should get your chimney cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Not only this, yearly inspections can enhance the life of your HVAC system and help you save more on your energy bills.
- Install smoke alarms at different levels of your home. Also, check their batteries regularly to ensure the alarms are working properly.
- Don’t forget to install a carbon monoxide alarm to keep a check on carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you are planning to use your fireplace or woodstove, ensure you use only seasoned firewood.
- Keep a fire extinguisher at home.
- If you are planning to decorate your fireplace with tree branches or stockings, ensure you hang them at a safe distance from the fire.
- Last and most importantly, hire a professional for your furnace and chimney inspections. They know how to clean out all the ash and dust using their furnace and chimney cleaning equipment.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 35 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions, and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.