‘Tis the season to enjoy the company of family, friends and loved-ones. It’s also the season of exchanging gifts-going out to get those special gifts for spouses, children and grand-children and receiving “that special something” you’ve been eyeing for some time.
Since many residential burglaries occur as crimes of opportunity-meaning they typically are committed without a great deal of planning-doing a few additional things to make your home a harder target to burglarize can make all the difference.
Here are a few tips to reduce the possibility of becoming a victim of a holiday crime
1. Be sure to securely lock all doors and windows when no one is home. Many burglaries occur each year through entryways that were left open or unlocked.
2. Don’t advertise your holiday trips and outings on social media, like Facebook or Instagram. Many insurance companies now check social media for posts like that and will likely deny your insurance claim.
3. During this time of year, many people like to display their holiday decorations for all to see. While these are wonderful showcases to admire, it should be understood that piles of wrapped gifts on view also provide would-be thieves with enticing objects to consider.
4. We all love Amazon Prime, but leaving your purchase boxes at the front door for all to see may not be a good idea. Instruct Amazon delivery to leave the boxes on the back porch or deck.
4. If you will be away from your home for a few hours, take advantage of timers, not only to manage your holiday lighting, but to manage other lights or things like televisions or radios in your home, to make it seem as if someone is home.
5. If you will be away from home for a few days or more, ask a neighbor or a friend to watch your home, shovel your snow and park in the driveway from time to time. Also, remember to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped or have a neighbor pick it up daily. Piled up mail and newspapers are a give-away to opportunistic thieves that no one is home
6. While it’s always a good idea to keep an updated inventory list of all of your possessions, special gifts received during this time of year should be added to the list. Take photos or make videos of items, and list descriptions and serial numbers. If your home is burglarized, having a detailed inventory can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file.
7. Be sure to forward this article to your renters and remind them to do the same.