Watch What You Throw Out
Husband got a new big screen smart TV, wife got the latest model iMac, kids got an Xbox One…. you get the picture. Well, so do burglars when they see the empty boxes by the curb the night before garbage pick-up. Consider breaking these boxes down, turning them inside out, or better yet, bringing them to the local recycle or trash facility yourself. The whole neighborhood doesn't need to know what's waiting inside your home for the taking.
Keep Those Vacation Plans Under Wraps
Speaking of not showing off what you've got, don't brag about that trip or cruise you're going on, especially not on social media. Most people consider Facebook a place to share pictures or upcoming plans with friends, but beware, and share the details of your trip AFTER you return. You don't know who is looking to break into your house and posting on Facebook “Leaving tomorrow for our ten-day cruise!” is like saying “Hey! My house will be unoccupied for the next ten days, feel free to steal our stuff!” Trust us - pack now, share LATER.
Make Your Home Look Occupied
Whether you are on vacation, out for the evening, or home, you want to make sure your home looks occupied. Using simple timers for your lights in different rooms, with varying times is an easy and inexpensive way to make it seem like someone is home. But nowadays, there are smart devices on the market that can do everything from control your lights, thermostat, put the TV on a daily timer, or even play talk radio loud enough to mimic the sounds of someone being home.
Keep Your Property Maintained
An abandoned-looking house is an easy target for a burglar. Remove holiday decorations as soon after the New Year as possible. If there is snowfall, shovel your driveway and steps in a timely manner. Even if you plan on staying inside, clean your car off and make boot tracks to and from the front door.
TIP: Don't let newspapers pile up in the driveway, whether you are home or not.
Doors and Windows
If you were locked out of your house, what is the easiest and first entrance (door, garage or window) that comes to mind for you to get into your own home? Guess what? That's the most likely way a burglar would enter too. The safest windows, especially on the ground floor, are casement windows. However, nobody expects you to run out and have all-new windows installed. Having a decent alarm system installed on all windows, doors, as well as a motion sensor, can greatly deter criminals, especially those with immediate blaring noise.
TIP: Make sure your alarm box is hidden, perhaps inside the hall closet or linen closet. Burglars are more likely to quickly disable alarms that are visible as soon as they enter.
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Start the New Year off right -- Simple things like these can make your house go from “victim” to “victor” with minimal effort and proper planning.