Some of the most exciting things about the holiday season are food, festivities, and traveling to spend time on vacation or with friends and family you haven’t seen all year round. While you’re away from home, you’ll want to avoid making your house a target for thieves. These holiday travel safety tips will help you keep everything buttoned up safely and securely until your return.
Secure All Doors and Windows
To be effective, holiday home security needs to begin long before you set out on your Thanksgiving or Christmas travels. As you’re making those travel plans, take time to walk around your home and check all of your doors and windows to make sure they’re secure. Thieves are resourceful when it comes to finding entry points, so include second-floor and basement windows in your security check.
As you walk through these various access points, make sure that all locks are functioning properly and that they’re substantial enough to be a real deterrent to anyone who is considering breaking in. In addition to traditional front or back doors, common access points for burglars include attached garage doors (which are often left unlocked, meaning that if a thief gains access to your garage, they have access to your entire home) and sliding glass doors. If anything appears weak or faulty, repair it before you hit the road!
Do a Security System Check
Another key part of your pre-holiday walkthrough includes checking all aspects of your security system to make sure it’s functional. Thieves are brazen (statistics show that 34% of burglars simply march in through the front door), so your security system is an important line of defense should someone get into your home.
Check all of your door and window sensors and your system’s motion detectors to ensure that everything is functioning as it should. Also, take time to log into your video surveillance system to ensure that the cameras are working and that they can be viewed remotely.
Keep Your Lights On
Most police departments will tell you that a primary burglary deterrent is having a well-lit home. Keeping exterior lights and even landscaping lights on will lessen the likelihood of a burglar hiding in the shadows and going undetected. Go one step further and use your Z-Wave devices to create a few different schedules for turning on lights inside your home, giving the illusion that someone is home.
Ask Neighbors to Help Out
One of the top holiday travel safety mistakes people make is allowing their home to look vacant while they’re away. This might mean letting the mailbox overflow or allowing snow to pile up in the driveway. It doesn’t just create a mess you’ll need to tidy up when you return; it sends a clear sign to burglars that no one is home.
Ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to assist you in making sure your home appears occupied until you return. They should collect your mail and newspapers and keep your driveway clear. You can even allow them into the house (via remote access) to turn on and off TVs, change the position of blinds and curtains, and give everything a once-over. If you’ve left your car(s) parked in the driveway during your trip, consider having a neighbor move them around every day.
A Holiday Travel Safety Tip Most Don’t Think About: Keep Mum on Social Media
As tempting as it is to get your social media friends and family in on your vacation action while it’s taking place, resist the urge to live-tweet or Instagram your whereabouts while you’re away. Instead, save your vacation social media updates until you return. One of the dangers of oversharing on social media today includes broadcasting your whereabouts to the public — making it easy for thieves to know when you’re away.
By holding off on social media vacation sharing, engaging friends and family to keep an eye on your house, and taking time to make sure your locks and security system features are functioning flawlessly, your home will stay buttoned up tight while your holiday travels are merry and bright!
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.