The movie Home Alone has become an iconic holiday film, most well-known for the hilarious booby traps set by Kevin to curtail the plans of the nasty robbers who had their sights set on his family’s home. But holiday season home robberies, sadly, aren’t limited to the big screen; CNN reports that burglaries increase during the holiday season in the real world, too. Here are a few common risks that may make your home and family a bigger target for would-be thieves and how to avoid them.
Leaving Valuables Out in the Open
Holiday parties are happening plenty during the holiday season, and if you find yourself playing host to a few or many guests, you’ll want to safeguard your valuables. Of course you trust your friends, but there’s always the possibility of someone bringing a plus-one they recently started dating. Better safe than sorry when it comes to your most prized possessions, so tuck those valuables away in a hidden safe when your home will be filled with guests.
Headed Out of Town? Hold Your Mail
One of the biggest indicators that homeowners are out of town is an overflowing mailbox. If you’re heading out of town for a few days to visit friends or an extended shopping trip, it’s worth having the post office hold your mail while you’re gone, particularly if you’re expecting any packages that will quickly fill up your mailbox.
Don’t Broadcast Your Plans on Social Media
It’s happened more than once, most recently with Kim Kardashian’s highly publicized robbery in France, yet social media users continue to publicly broadcast their travel plans across social networks. Letting the world know that your home will be empty and unattended for two entire weeks is akin to sending a written invitation to your local burglar. As tempting as it is to share every detail of your life, don’t.
Put Your Lights on Timers
Much like an overflowing mailbox can indicate that a homeowner isn’t around, Christmas lights that aren’t turned on for several nights in a row are a surefire indicator that no one’s home. Burglars generally don’t like to get caught, and they’re usually not out to get into altercations with homeowners or cause anyone physical harm, so they’ll choose a home that’s seemingly empty over a home with obvious family inside in most cases. If your lights are turned on routinely every evening, it’s more difficult to tell if someone’s home.
Keep Gifts and Packages Out of View
As beautiful as your Christmas tree is shining through the front bay window, avoid the temptation to pile up all those gifts too soon. If you do display gifts in advance, take steps to make sure that they’re not clearly visible from outside. Likewise, bring any packages delivered inside as soon as possible. If it’s feasible, make arrangements to have delivery drivers and postal workers tuck packages away in a spot that’s not visible from the street.
Don’t Trust People Going Door-to-Door
If your doorbell rings unexpectedly this holiday season, be cautious who you open the door to. Various scams have been carried out using door-to-door methods, such as people posing for charity workers or volunteers seeking donations, people posing as repair professionals or sales representatives. If you can’t verify a person’s identity on the spot, decline their request, or you can simply choose not to answer the door to anyone you don’t recognize.
It’s sad that families need to take extra precautions to safeguard their homes against potential crooks during the season of giving, but being the victim of a robbery is no way to spend the holiday season. Take the ‘better safe than sorry approach’ and play it safe this year.
Aimee Lyons is a DIY hobbyist. She created http://diydarlin.com/ to share her DIY knowledge and for it to serve as a forum to learn from other DIYers. She also loves crafting, refurbishing furniture, remodeling rooms, and landscaping.