Winter is a time for giving, but unfortunately, some people in the world also take it as a time for taking. As the holidays begin to reach their peak, theft of all sorts will also be on the rise. Learning and implementing more ways to keep yourself safe in winter is the best thing you can do to cut down on your chances of being a target.
Keep The Lights On
One way that burglars will know which house to target is by scoping out a location multiple times to see if the lights go on at night. If they don’t, it’s a definite sign that the occupants are away. To avoid this telltale giveaway that you aren’t around to protect your things, try out a light timer. This will automatically turn your lights on and off at the same time every day, whether it’s your outdoor lights or Christmas lights within the house. There are even apps and devices you can get to manually control your lights from your smartphone no matter where you are, creating the illusion of an occupied house.
Check Your Locks
Your locks are the biggest line of defense between you and anyone who’s looking to clean your home out. Make sure that you’re taking good care of them. You should do a perimeter check of your locks every now and then, making sure that they’re all tightly fit and that none of them have been damaged by age. Keep stock of whether or not there seem to be any signs of tampering as well, which can be a big tip off that your house has been scoped out.
Protect Your Car
Your home isn’t going to be the only thing thieves are scoping out this season. Theft from cars also rises as home burglaries do, and oftentimes, a car might be broken into in lieu of a home because it’s seen as an easier target. You can protect your car by ensuring that you have a working alarm if it’s broken into. Additionally, never keep any valuables in plain sight! This includes paperwork, packages, shopping bags, electronics, or even just the charge cables. That’s a surefire sign that you might have some valuables in your car, and it will encourage thieves to rifle through your glovebox.
Avoid Package Theft
One of the biggest concerns this holiday season is package theft. Burglars will often scope out homes to see if any unprotected packages have been left out on the porch, since stealing them is just a matter of walking to the door and scooping the box up. These days, installing a porch camera or a doorbell camera is one of the best ways to discourage thieves. They’re less likely to target you if there’s an obvious camera right by the door. Motion-detection cameras can also alert you anytime someone is moving in front of your door. There are even some camera doorbells that allow you to speak through a speaker system, which can scare potential thieves away.
Stop posting your whereabouts and shopping spoils on social media! Social media platforms are a great place for robbers to scope out their potential targets. Through this, they have an idea of what to look for in a home and when the house itself will be left unguarded. As much as you might want to talk about the diamond necklace you just got or your upcoming week-long vacation, it’s best not to, since you could be giving a burglar an in.
Secure Your Windows
Some windows come with locks, but many don’t. If you want an extra layer of security, installing window locks can be a great way to do that. If you have sliding windows, it’s also possible to go for a low-budget solution instead and cut a wooden pole to fit the gap at the bottom of the window. When you place the pole into the gap at the base of the window, it will make it impossible for a burglar to pry the window open.
Get Flood or Motion Lights
Whether or not it’s better to leave your lights on or off during the night is a hotly debated issue. However, it’s generally agreed that motion lights are a great way to deter would-be burglars. It keeps your home relatively dark, unless something moves in front of the motion detection system. In many cases, this will trigger floodlights, which are bright and can cover an entire yard. Some floodlights are even bright enough to wake the occupants of a home, which is why many potential burglars will leave once they have been triggered.
Install A Security System
If you haven’t already done so, a tried-and-true way to secure your house is by installing a security system. Many systems will have strong and obvious alarms, and some will open a direct line with the police if a break-in has been detected. Some systems even offer 24/7 monitoring so that there’s a real person ensuring things aren’t getting sticky at all hours of the day. Capturing any intruder on video is also a huge asset if they escape since it can help police find them and get them off the streets.
Keep Things Hidden
It’s a tradition for many to keep their tree by the window, and to put gifts under it all throughout the month. However, this is essentially like putting valuables on display. It can make your home very attractive to thieves, especially if you have boxes under the tree that very obviously show what’s inside. Particularly attention-drawing are the electronic boxes, though any larger package, in general, can attract unwanted attention. This holiday season, try waiting to put your packages under the tree until it’s almost time to open them. Otherwise, consider moving your tree to another location to cut down on wandering, unwanted eyes.
Dealing with theft in the winter holiday is an extra stress that no one needs. Give these tips and tricks a try if you want to cut down on your chances of becoming a potential target.