In the 1990 movie Home Alone Kevin McCallister gets left behind as the family leaves on a holiday vacation. As he fends for himself, fighting off two would be burglars, with hilarity around every corner, Kevin’s sister Megan McCallister says to another brother, “You’re not at all worried that something might happen to Kevin?” In which Buzz McCallister replies, “No, for three reasons: A. I’m not that lucky. Two, we use smoke detectors and D, we live on the most boring street in the whole United States of America, where nothing even remotely dangerous will ever happen. Period.”
While Buzz’s statement is meant to provide comedy from a brother who is probably somewhat annoyed at a sibling, it actually is a way of thinking by a lot of people. During the holidays many people travel and leave their biggest investment, their homes, unattended. Many people feel that their neighborhood is safe because “it is boring and nothing ever happens.” But, during the holidays, criminals know that packages have been bought and folks are traveling. So, let’s take a look at a few easy tips to help keep your home safe.
It Sure Looks Like Someone Is Home!
The key to protecting your home while you are away is to make it look like you never left in the first place. As homeowners, we have probably heard many of these tips before. But right before the holidays, it never hurts to go over that checklist one more time and make sure you’re ready before you pack up and take off.
- Set your lights on a timer that mimics your typical daily schedule. Do not simply leave the lights on the entire time you are away. This will tip off potential burglars.
- Stop your newspaper and mail delivery.
- Ask neighbors to collect any packages that might be delivered to your front porch while you are away.
- Leave a key and your alarm code with a trusted neighbor – just in case.
- Install motion sensing lights on the outside of your home – both front and back.
- Pack your car inside your garage with the garage door down.
- Keep your curtains as you would have them any other day. If you usually have them open, closing them for a week will raise suspicion. However, make sure that jewelry and other valuables are out of sight.
- Don’t forget to lock the doors and set your alarm when you leave. And, pick up your extra key. Everyone knows to look in the fake rock, above the door frame, or under the mat. You aren’t fooling anyone – especially a criminal.
Please No Vacation Pictures!
Social media is a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends. I know you are excited to show off your children at every single destination of your fun filled trip (every restaurant you eat in, every hotel room you stay in, every gas station you fill up at, etc…). But, please, please, please wait to post all of those exciting holiday moments when you have returned to your home after the holidays. Your friends and family anxiously await all of your details and are ready to “like” everything you did. But while you are doing them, the not-so-good guys of the world are also seeing you doing all of those things and it doesn’t take a lot to figure out which house to go to and “like” all of your stuff right out the door. My advice? Enjoy the holidays as the moments are happening and then relive them through posting to social media after you are home.
If you are travelling this holiday season, I hope these simple tips will help make it a stress-free trip. The key is to do just a few simple things to protect your investment so that you can sit back and enjoy the holiday with your family and friends. So get packing! My family and I wish you a very happy and safe holiday season.