Christmas is just around the corner! But will your home be safe? You’ll have plenty of presents around the tree, you may be traveling, and ’tis the season to be burgled. What can you do to keep your home safe? Here’s ten Christmas tips from Don:
1. Use light switch timers. Leave a radio on, tuned to a talk show — in fact, you can even buy burglar-stopping CD recordings. You want to be sure it looks you’re home while you’re away. Light and the sound of conversation may make burglars think twice.
2. Leave shades and blinds the way you normally do.
3. Have a neighbor pick up your mail, newspapers and magazines while you’re on vacation. Otherwise cancel all deliveries. Your post office will gladly hold your mail.
4. Get a time controller to light up the porch and yard intermittently.
5. Have a good friend or neighbor walk up to your door or drive into the driveway after a snowfall. No tracks, empty house! And an empty house is tempting to break into.
6. Latch the windows. Yes, ordinary windows are easily broken into and won’t stop a professional burglar, but safety latches on the windows may keep amateurs or youngsters from trying anything.
7. Double-check everything before you go, and double-check it using a checklist.
8. Form a neighborhood crime watch. Your local police department is sure to help. Not only will it keep your entire neighborhood safe, you may find yourself making a whole new group of friends.
9. Don’t tell people you’re going. Professional criminals like nothing better than Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media web sites that let them know you’re not there. Don’t help. Also, don’t hesitate to ask others you know (and trust) not to spill the beans online. A friend bidding you a bon voyage on Facebook may end up with you saying bon voyage to your valuables.
10. Last of all — and best of all — invest in a good alarm system. You may even consider buying a system for someone you know or love. Yes, we sell them, so I guess you were expecting that. But it’s still true. With the right system, not only will your home be safer from burglars, but from fire, pipes cracking, weather damage, and more. If a crook breaks in, you can watch it on your smartphone — and so can the police, as they’re on their way.