‘Tis the season for enjoying holiday festivities with family! However, for countless Floridians, the holidays also mean leaving home for days or weeks at a time.
Leaving your home unattended can make it an easy target for burglars. Here are some easy ways to protect your home from theft and other hazards while away, ensuring that your return home is as rewarding as your time away.
1. Lock Before You Leave
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the majority of home invasions (56.7%) occur through an open or unlocked door or window. Before leaving home for the holidays, double check that all doors, windows, and any other openings are locked and secured. This will help prevent your home from invasion by grouchy Grinches and Scrooges!
2. Have a Friend Keep Watch
Friends and neighbors are a great source of help and support. Have a neighbor or nearby friend keep an eye on your home while away.
3. Install a Home Security System
Home security systems are an incredibly useful means of protecting your home while away. If unwelcomed guests enter your home, an alarm will go off and you, as well as the authorities, will be notified.
Investing in a home security system is a great way to keep your home safe during and after the holiday season. How safe? Homes without security systems are three times more likely to be burglarized than those with security systems.
4. Pull the Plug
Unplug all unnecessary appliances before you leave home, including toasters, coffee makers and televisions. Fewer plugged-in electronics lowers the chance of sparking a fire, and can also save you money in the process. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that anywhere from five to ten percent of your residential electricity is sapped by devices that are plugged in 24 hours a day.
5. Put Away that Spare Key
This “key” to protecting your home is simple, but incredibly important. While it is nice to have a spare key for those days when you accidentally lock yourself out of your house, we recommend storing it in the house while away for the holidays.
Wondering how Santa will make it inside without your key? Leave some milk and cookies out instead of your keys and holiday magic should take care of the rest!
6. Don’t Publicly Announce Your Travel Plans
While it may be tempting to share details and post pictures of your vacation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, be mindful of who’s seeing your posts besides friends. These real-time posts tell the world that you’re away, and may inspire a burglar to pay your home a visit. Also, be careful when discussing your trip details in public spaces, like restaurants, offices and stores.
7. Do Nothing… Sort of
Contemplating whether or not to close the curtains before you leave? Consider how you normally keep your house. If you normally leave curtains open, keep them open while out of town, and vise versa. While it may seem like a good idea to close them at first, switching up your routine can actually turn into an unintentional invitation for burglars who know you’re not home.
Click here for more tips on how to protect your home while away for the holidays.
People’s Trust wishes everyone a happy and safe holiday season!