house front door with Christmas wreath

It doesn’t just happen in the movies (remember the Christmas movie, “Home Alone”?). Burglars getting busy during the holiday season is true and it can happen to you. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to ransack homes, especially those whose owners are away on holiday.

But this shouldn’t stop you and your family from taking that much needed time to enjoy, relax and have fun. Making sure your home is safe and secure while you’re away is not that difficult, but it will need a bit of planning on your part.

For your peace of mind, here are a few tips to keep your home secure, regardless of how long you’d be away on holiday:

Don’t overshare on social media

Social media has made it easy for people to share thoughts, a few happy photos and the exotic location where you are having a grand time. But this is not always a good thing as this might alert thieves that you’re away and your home is an easy target.

Making your account private, even temporarily, doesn’t help either because people don’t know personally the majority of their “connections” in their social network.

Don’t announce on social media that you’re going away and refrain from sharing photos until you’re back home. It’s easy to compile data about you, including where you live and if you will be away, through your social media posts.

Check your home security

Make sure your security is up to date. A faulty deadlock or loose window frame will make it easy for burglars to get into your home.

Ensure your alarm system is working, your sensor lights have new light bulbs, and your smoke alarms have new batteries.

It’s not a good idea to hide your keys under the welcome mat or in one of your potted plants-ever. Be careful in letting tradespeople or acquaintances borrow your keys because it’s easy to make a duplicate, and for burglars to get into your home without any obstacle.

Ask the help of a trusted neighbour

It pays to be friendly to your neighbours. Ask a neighbour you trust to look out for your home and collect mail, leaflets or newspaper while you’re away. Uncollected mail or newspapers is an obvious sign that nobody is home.

Another sign of an empty house is an empty driveway. Your neighbour parking in your driveway will signal that someone is home.

These are just a few of the things you can do to make it look like you’re home.

In addition, install lights that automatically turn on during the evenings. Hang some laundry on the line. Or, have a friend mow your lawn to prevent it from getting overgrown, if you won’t be returning for weeks.

Keep your valuables in a safe

Hide valuables like money, jewellery and watches in hard to find places like a safe or small vault. But remember that burglars know that the family safe will likely be in the bedroom, so considered hiding your safe in an unlikely place in your home.

One final tip, make sure everything is locked before leaving. This includes doors, windows, side fates, outdoor sheds, garages, and even the doggy door. In the chaos of leaving for the airport, or beginning a long road trip, people can forget things. You don’t want your holiday to be ruined by constantly thinking and worrying if you had everything locked before leaving.

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