The Christmas and New Year period is a wonderful time to get together or get away as a family. Unfortunately, the Christmas holiday period still remains one of the most popular times for thieves to take advantage of homes left unattended. To keep things secure this holiday season, we have prepared some simple, easy to follow security tips. Keep these top of mind this holiday season to make sure that the only intruder you’ll have to deal with will be Santa Claus.
Make friends with your neighbours
Having a reliable and trusted neighbour keep an eye on your property is a great idea. Keeping the mailbox from overflowing, putting your bins in and out, parking a car in your driveway and generally being alert over the dates you are away are just some of the things that a neighbourly resident can do for you. Be sure to give them a contact number so they can alert you to anything that might need urgent attention. You may also consider getting a trusted housesitter to stay in your place while you are away.
Be careful about social media exposure
Excitement about heading out the door on holidays turns many to social media to share their excitement with family and friends. Be careful what you reveal, it can be easy for thieves to pinpoint your home location by connecting other information about you online. Also look at your privacy settings and consider only making your personal information available to known friends and family. You may want to create a closed group on Facebook messenger for example so you can control exactly who knows your whereabouts.
Ensure all your locks and alarms are working well
Locks and alarms, like anything, can wear out and become faulty. They say a chain is only as strong as it’s the weakest link so check the smallest windows and hatches so that you can secure them all effectively. Before the holiday period, it is a good time to do an audit of all your doors and windows to make sure the locks are working well and you have keys for everything. Check that alarms are working properly and make sure the stickers indicating an alarm is in use look fresh and are prominent. Also, ensure your locks can prevent both entry and exit. A thief may gain access through a small hole and then let themselves out via a door or window. If these are locked (with keys removed) large valuables will be more difficult to steal.
Hide your empty discarded gift boxes
The empty box for the new family TV sitting out the front or down the side of the house is a sure fire way to tell thieves you have something new of value inside. Break down large boxes and hide any evidence of valuables that were given as gifts. You can dispose of the box over the coming weeks’ piece by piece if need be.
Install remote sensor cameras and microphone
Being able to see what is going on around your home when you are away not only provides peace of mind but can mean you can react more quickly to unsavoury characters on your doorstep. Nowadays a wireless camera with motion sensors is an easy to install, affordable piece of equipment to consider. Many allow you to communicate with visitors to your front door so you can deal with their enquiry be it legitimate or not.
Be wary of door-to-door salespeople
Particularly in the lead up to Christmas, ensure any unexpected door to door salespeople or charity workers do not enter your home. While most have honest and good intentions some thieves use this as a disguise to assess a future break-in opportunity. Always ask for ID and alert authorities if someone can’t provide adequate credentials. Charity collectors will not be offended if you ask to see their ID.
Install automatic lights with random timings
It is an old trick to set a light timer to turn lights on as it gets dark. Vigilant thieves, however, can soon tell that your lights come on at 7 pm precisely every night. Many light and sound systems these days can be controlled remotely and set to random times making lights coming on seem more realistic.
Put presents under the tree at the last minute
Apart from deterring inquisitive kids, having presents under the tree for weeks before Christmas, particularly if visible from an outside window, can entice thieves. As terrible as this sounds, it happens. So put presents out the night before Christmas to keep the surprises reserved to just the pleasant ones. Also, if you purchase any particularly valuable gifts (e.g. laptops, jewellery), get these added to your home & contents insurance policy before the gift is revealed at Christmas time.
Remove hidden spare keys from around the house
It goes without saying that having spare keys ‘hidden’ around the house open up security risks. Hiding spots are easily found by thieves. Instead, consider installing a keypad lock so you’ll never need keys (or spares) again! You can change the code as often as you like and they also look pretty slick. Some can even be opened and managed using your mobile phone.
Secure garden tools and ladders
Garden tools and ladders left in the yard or unlocked back shed can provide tools for thieves to help them break-in. Make sure these are all secured. If you don’t have room for a shed simply chain these to something solid so only you can get access to use them.
We wish you all the best this Christmas and holiday season. May you have a safe and secure break. If you need any help with keeping your place secure during the holidays LocksON Locksmiths Central Coast are fully licensed and insured to undertake all locksmithing work. Please call us on 0414 188 971 or email [email protected]