Christmas is a special time when we come together with family and friends to celebrate. It is also the time of year where we are most generous and practice the tradition of gift giving. For most of us it is happy and joyous.
Unfortunately though, home burglars have a different view. For them, it can be a time of opportunity to burglarize your home of cash, gift cards, and all the new small electronics, computers, video games, and other easily sold items.
Here are some tips of what they look for when shopping for a house to target. These tips could help you enjoy the holidays without incident.
- Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so it’s easily visible from the street. It’s too tempting for them to smash the window and grab the wrapped packages.
- Burglars look for occupancy cues like outdoor lights burning 24 hours a day, piled up newspapers, or advertising flyers hanging on the door knob. Use an inexpensive light timer when you are away and ask a neighbor to keep the front of your home clean of papers and debris.
- Burglars know to look for the hidden door key near the front entrance. Don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to a trusted neighbor.
- Burglars prefer to enter through unlocked doors or windows. Sliding windows that are not secure can be seen from a distance. One holiday problem can occur when exterior Christmas light extension cords are run inside through a window and prevent it from being secured. Engage an electrician to install an exterior outlet for your holiday lights.
- Don’t post your family name on your mailbox or on you house. A burglar can call directory assistance to get your telephone number and call your home while in front of your house to confirm that you are away.
- Don’t leave descriptive telephone answering machine messages like, “You’ve reached the Jones’s…we’re on the Gold Coast for the Christmas holidays…please leave a message.” Burglars love to hear that they have plenty of time to break in and completely ransack your home.
- After Christmas day, don’t pile up empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo receiver on the street for the garbage man. Burglars appreciate knowing that you have expensive gifts inside for them to steal. Break them down or cut them up to conceal the items better. After a lucrative burglary, the chances of being burglarized again are increased to steal the new replacement products.
- Last, but not least, fortify your home by installing a back to base security system, solid core exterior doors with heavy duty locks, longer screws in the lock strike plates and door hinges, and install secondary security devices on all accessible sliding windows.
Wishing you all a safe and secure Christmas.