As this Christmas approaches, one thing you should prepare for is keeping your home safe over the holidays.
Holidays are a time where people tend to travel and be away from the house.
This is the perfect time for burglars and other home invaders to strike.
Unfortunately, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to have someone to housesit for them.
As such you should follow our list of tips to keep your home safe over the holidays.
Lock doors and windows
This is perhaps the simplest tip to follow, but it would shock you how many people forget.
When burglars are interviewed and asked, they mostly broke in through an unlocked door or window.
32% of Australian burglaries occur through an unlocked door.
As such, you should always ensure all doors into your home are locked when you leave. That includes gates as well.
Security window screens should also be an option.
Furthermore, ensure that pet doors and garage doors are secured from the inside.
Intruders must not be able to reach door locks through pet doors.
It may be worth investing in extra security such as deadlocks or bolts.
Try not to leave any spare keys hidden around the property. Instead, leave them with someone you trust.
Communicate with neighbours and the local police
If you are going away the holidays, tell your neighbours, close family members and local police.
That way, local authorities and people you trust know that your home is unoccupied.
If neighbours see movement around your home when you’re away, they’ll know something is wrong.
Make the house appear occupied
To a burglar, an occupied house is a license to steal.
If they see a house that has unkept grass, letters piling up, a messy driveway and lights off all the time, they know nobody’s home.
To make the house appear occupied, tidy up and clean just before you leave for your holiday. Furthermore, get a neighbour or family member to collect letters.
You can even consider getting automatic timers to activate your lights each time. Make sure lights are activated at different terms each day, to appear more genuine.
Leave a car in the driveway
One thing that gives burglars pause is seeing a car in the driveway.
This is generally a very strong sign that someone is home.
If you are going somewhere, you might consider leaving your car in the driveway.
Alternately, if you are unable or unwilling to do this, have a neighbour park their car in your driveway while you’re gone.
Invest in security options
Another option is to beef up the security around your home.
Even if you don’t have a guard dog, you can still put a “Beware of Dog” sign up in a visible spot to deter home invaders.
Home security systems are an option also. These include cameras and an alarm that alerts people when a sensor is tripped.
You even have an option of hiring on-demand monitoring services for the duration of your holiday.
Keep tools and climbing opportunities out of reach
Criminals may look for tools or ladders around your home to make their illegal entry even easier.
Keep these items locked safely away, where intruders cannot reach.
Criminals also look for bits of furniture can climb on to reach elevated windows.
You should away anything light enough to move before leaving.
Keep valuables out of view
Thieves and burglars may also be attracted to valuables they’re able to spot through the window.
As such, you should make sure your valuables are kept well out of view.
This is particularly important if you have Christmas gifts in the house.
Ideally, they should be locked away in a safe or in some sort of secret compartment.
Do not advertise that you’re leaving
Posting your vacation schedule can be extremely risky.
Many social media users are friends with people they do not personally know.
By advertising the fact, they are away, they are setting themselves up for the risk of being burglarised.
As such, keeping your social media private and not broadcasting the fact you’ll be away is a good method of keeping your home safe over the holidays.