Even though the Christmas holiday season is supposed to be one of the most joyous and fun-filled times of the year, most people don’t realize that it also brings with it an increase in robberies. With homes full of gift-wrapped valuables and items such as expensive holiday dinnerware and silverware put on display, thieves view this as a prime opportunity to cash in. But there are ways you can protect your belongings during the holidays so you can relax and enjoy the festivities.
Holiday Safety Tips
- Probably nothing thrills a thief more than seeing a ton of gifts placed beneath a Christmas tree. And if you’ve put your tree and gifts next to a big open window where everyone can see them, then you’re basically offering up those gifts on a silver platter to a potential burglar. Always keep your blinds and curtains closed at night and try to position your tree somewhere else in your home where it can’t be seen from the street. Keep your gifts hidden in a closet and don’t place them beneath the tree until Christmas Eve or even early Christmas morning. By decreasing a thief’s visibility, you’re increasing the likelihood of them skipping your home.
- Be mindful when opening gifts. If you receive a new computer, television, or video gaming console for Christmas, make sure you break down the packaging and put the pieces inside a non-transparent garbage bag before you throw it in your bin by the curb. If you dispose of them in one piece instead of breaking them down, you’re displaying to everyone passing by what new gifts you have inside your home. Also, take your garbage out the day pick-up is scheduled, since this will lessen the chance of a thief rifling through it.
- Double check your home security system and any motion detector lights you have mounted around your home. If you don’t have a system, and your budget allows for one, comb through the Yellow Pages and call some professionals in your area for a quote. If you’re going to be away for a few days, or even if you’re just visiting family members out of town for the evening, buy a timer and set your indoor lights to come on at a certain time so people passing by will think you’re home.
- When you unwrap your gifts, make a list of serial and model numbers on every expensive item that has one. Also, take pictures of these gifts and put the photos and information in a safe place. Hopefully, you’ll never become the victim of a home robbery, but if something does happen, any details you can provide on the stolen items will go a long way in helping the police recover them. It’s always better to be safe now than sorry later.
- Yes, it’s fun to share your excitement of the holidays on social media, but you never know who might be stalking your posts to find out if you will be away from home or what gifts you received. Don’t update your status with statements like, “Going out of town for the holidays! Merry Christmas!” By doing this you’re basically inviting the whole world into your home to steal whatever they like because they know you won’t be there to stop them. So be careful what you say on social media platforms and think twice before sharing your every movement.
By taking just a few extra precautions during the busy holiday season, you can spend less time stressing and more time enjoying the celebrations so you and your loved ones can make memories that will last a lifetime.