Don’t let a Grinch steal your happy holidays. Keep your home and belongings safe. You’ll have a merrier season and, since you won’t have to file a claim, you may even save on your homeowners insurance policy, too.
Thieves aren’t particularly ambitious but they are clever. They look for easy targets and fast hauls. Don’t advertise that you are either.
Did you buy a new big screen TV to watch the holiday bowl games? Don’t leave the packaging for that or any other big-ticket electronic item sitting around for curbside collection. Cut down the boxes and don’t put them out until a few minutes before trash pick up. Naturally, you should shred all material with personal information on it.
Nothing says Christmas like a tree in the picture window surrounded by presents. It’s a heartwarming sight for thieves, too. Draw the drapes when you’re away from home.
Put random timers on interior and exterior lights and radios. Make it look and sound like somebody is home. Cancel mail and newspaper delivery or arrange for someone to pick it up daily if you’re going on vacation (and for heaven’s sake don’t announce your impending departure in the local news or community paper). Even better, hire a reputable house-sitter.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but lock your doors whenever you leave your home, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. The majority of thieves can be in and out in under five minutes! Besides, the last thing you want is to confront a thief in your home.
Don’t “hide” your spare key under a doormat, in a planter or on top of a door sill. Thieves are on to that.
Put the ladder away after you hang the Christmas lights. A ladder is an invitation for a thief to try an upstairs entry.
Bad guys prey on nice people, especially older ones. Never let any stranger into your home for any reason. Some crooks work in pairs. That nice young couple who ask to use your phone because their car broke down could be casing your place or stealing on the spot while you go to get them a glass of water.
Make your home more secure and invest in a quality alarm system, preferably one that alerts the police or monitoring service directly. Insurance companies offer discounts for these and other anti-theft devices that will help you save on your homeowners insurance policy.
If you purchase or receive valuable new items during the holiday season, photograph them so you have an updated inventory for your homeowners insurance policy.