The holiday season is a terrific time to visit friends and family, to enjoy some winter recreation, or to leave town altogether.
Your home’s safety and security is an important element of your enjoyment and peace of mind while you are away.
Here are some insurance agents‘ tips for holiday home security:
Don’t broadcast your trip on social media – and this goes for your children, also! No “check-ins” at out of town sites, no photo or video postings. There will be plenty of time for that when you get back.
Do stop delivery of mail and newspapers. Nothing says “empty house” more eloquently than a stuffed mailbox and newspapers all over the driveway. Plus, you run the risk of having mail stolen.
Do move your garbage cans into the garage or another secure location. An empty garbage can when your neighbor’s cans are full is a clear indication that no one is home.
Do invest in timers. These timers should be attached to both your interior and exterior lights as well as to televisions and radios in the home. Sound and light is a powerful deterrent and makes a house looked lived-in.
Do set your burglar alarm and make sure that a local friend has the house key, the burglar alarm code and the burglar alarm company phone number in case of an attempted burglary or in case of a false alarm. Make sure that your “call list” at the alarm company is up to date and that the people on that list will be in town when you are away.
Do ask a neighbor to walk by and check the house from time to time. Even stopping mail and newspapers does not guarantee that the front of the house will be clear. Advertising circulars and phone books are thrown into driveways or left on front porches, local merchants hang door hanger coupons on the front door knobs, packages that require signatures are indicated by sticky notes left at eye level on the front door. Even well-meaning friends and neighbors can drop off holiday gift bags by the front door, not realizing that you are not there to pick them up in a timely manner.
Do have a neighbor park their car in your driveway from time to time. Although most people fear a burglary happening at night, the truth of the matter is that most burglaries happen during the day as residents and neighbors are usually not at home. Having a car parked in your driveway during the day is a possible indication that the home is occupied.
Do give a house key to a trusted friend or neighbor and do have them do interior walk-throughs of your home. Although we often worry most about crime when we are away, non-crime related incidents can cause a lot of damage to a home, especially if problems like broken water pipes are left unattended. Make sure this neighbor knows where the home utility boxes are located, such as the sprinkler timers or fuse boxes. If you have vendors coming to the home to do landscaping or cleaning, make sure that someone does a walk-through afterwards to make sure that the alarm system is turned back on and that all doors are locked.
Our insurance agents want you to have a happy, enjoyable holiday season! These tips are easy to follow and will make your vacation and your homecoming a secure one.