Keeping Your Home Safe During the Holidays

Shadowed thief breaking into a home at night through a back door during the Christmas Holiday Season.

As the year draws to an end, the holiday season is fast approaching. Before we know it, Thanksgiving will come and go–and Christmas will follow in the blink of an eye. While holidays are generally full of good tidings and joy, they’re also a prime time for burglars and bad actors. Many criminals know that a large percentage of people travel around the holidays (up to almost 3/4 of people, on average), which means that many homes are left unattended–making them potentially easy targets.

Protecting Your Home From Holiday Burglary

Upgrade Your Security System

If you don’t currently have a reliable home security system, the holiday season is the perfect time to consider investing in one. And if you have a current system that’s old or less than reliable, now may be a good time to consider upgrading it to ensure your home and property properly protected whether you plan on staying nearby or traveling for the season.

Install Automatic Lights & Timers

If you’re going to be out of town, your home doesn’t need to remain dark and empty-looking while you’re away. Adding some timers to your lights can give the appearance that you’re home, which can be a great deterrent to would-be bad actors. Motion-activated lights surrounding your property are another great way to keep criminals at bay, and have the added benefit of saving money by not running continuously.

Specify Alternate Package Drop Off Locations

If you’re planning on ordering gifts for friends and family, there’s a good chance the packages are going to get left on your front doorstep. If you have someone at home during these expected dropoff times, there shouldn’t be many issues. However, if there’s a chance these packages may arrive when you’re out–whether at work or away visiting family, it’s a good idea to have the packages delivered to a post office or locker until you have a chance to retrieve them. Many criminals scout neighborhoods looking for unattended packages this time of year, as they’re often easy targets.

Keep Blinds Closed

While it’s nice to show off your Christmas tree to the neighborhood by placing it in front of a large, prominent street-facing window, it can be a beacon that attracts criminals. Big, beautiful Christmas trees often have presents underneath, and some of these presents might be rather valuable… which can add temptation to those looking for an easy score.

Don’t Announce Vacations to the World

While you might be excited about your holiday vacation plans, it’s a good idea to keep these plans under wraps until after you’ve returned from your travels. Word can travel fast when you’re posting your plans on social media, and you’ll never know who may catch wind of the fact that your home will be unattended and ripe for a harvest.

Rely on Your Neighborhood Watch

If you have a good relationship with any of your neighbors, be sure to let them know when you’ll be out of town and ask them if they don’t mind keeping an eye on your house (if they’ll be around) to report any suspicious activity they may witness. Of course, be sure to offer to return the favor when they’re out of town and you’re able. More eyes on a property adds more security, and can help stop potential crime before much (if any) damage or loss occurs.

Protecting Your Home From Holiday Fires

In addition to spikes in burglary, the holidays are also the most dangerous time of the year for fires within homes. This is due to a number of reasons, so here’s a list of a few easy ways to help reduce the chances of an accidental fire during this holiday season.

Ensure Your Fire Alarms are Functioning Properly

As you decorate your home and get into the holiday spirit, one of the first things you should do is test all of your fire alarms and smoke detectors to ensure they’re fully operational.

Take Precautions if Deep Frying a Turkey

Deep frying a turkey can result in a delicious Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but it can be very dangerous if not done correctly. In fact, deep fryers have become a leading cause for house fires and trips to the emergency room during the holidays. Be sure to do your deep frying outside, far away from anything that might catch fire. Ensure the turkey is completely thawed, because dropping a frozen bird into the hot oil can cause an explosion. And, of course, be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand–just in case.

Keep Your Christmas Tree Hydrated

Dried out Christmas trees are surprisingly flammable, so be sure to check water levels on a daily basis and top off the water as necessary.

Pay Attention to Your Christmas Lights

If you notice any fraying as your putting your lights up, it’s a good idea to toss the strand away and replace it–frayed light strings can short and present a fire hazard. If any bulbs go out, be sure to replace them immediately to help prevent the risk of the entire string shorting.

Put Out Your Candles

Candles can add a wonderful ambiance throughout your home and make the whole place smell great. However, it’s important to never leave lit candles unattended, as Christmas and New Years are the top days of the year for home candle fires.

Clean Your Chimney

In between chimney sweeps, be sure to burn a creosote sweeping log to dry up creosote, which allows the soot particles to fall into the firebox, making your fires safer (and making the next chimney sweep easier).

Keep Your Home Safe This Holiday Season

Follow the tips above to help keep your home safe during the upcoming holiday season.

If you’re interested in protecting your home from burglars and theives this season in the East Texas area, be sure to contact 3D Security, Inc. today to discuss your situation, needs, and goals. We’ll work with you to create a custom security system plan that keeps your home and family protected.