Away over the holidays? Here’s a burglary prevention checklist!

It’s Christmas, and your home is decorated, Christmas tree is up, and gifts are wrapped. Add a bit of snow, and it could be a perfect Christmas. Unfortunately, it’s also a perfect time for a break-in, especially if you’re going away over the holidays. What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Have a neighbour checking your house daily, if you’re away for a few days or weeks. Nothing like piled up mail or newspapers to signal an empty house.
  • Purchase a timer to turn both your inside lights and your exterior Christmas lights on and off. Or have a neighbour turn lights on or off when checking on your home.
  • Install motion detector lights to make it difficult for a burglar to break in without being seen.
  • Ask your neighbour to park a vehicle in your driveway, and arrange for someone to shovel your walks if it snows.
  • Have a professional install a monitored intrusion alarm. And be sure to put a sign on your door indicating you have a monitored alarm. This may deter a burglar looking for an easy score.
  • Put presents out of sight. Wrapped gifts under the tree can be very tempting to a thief.
  • Close your curtains, but leave a small gap so some light shows through. Even if you’re just going out for the evening, leave some lights on, as well as the radio or tv to make it seem like someone’s home.
  • Don’t leave a spare key hidden outside. Burglars know all the usual hiding places!
  • Make sure all your doors and windows are locked.
  • Don’t have your name displayed on your house or mailbox. Once a burglar knows your name, he can get your phone number, and call to see if you’re home!
  • Don’t let the world know you’re going away by posting it on Facebook, or leaving a detailed voicemail greeting.
  • Cut or break up any boxes before you put them out in the garbage. Nothing like some empty electronics boxes to advertise what new goodies are laying around your home!
  • Make sure you have enough insurance on your home to cover all your new gifts, just in case!

Christmas can be a wonderful time to relax, and enjoy the company of family and friends. Taking a few precautions can help to put your mind at ease while you’re away from home.

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