How to Help Keep Burglars from Finding Your New Christmas Toys

gift-bows-300x224 The holidays may be over, but the gifts you received have found their places within your home. Some of these new things are important to you because they’ve come from the people you love. That said, protecting them comes down to maintaining security measures to help make sure that no burglars find out about them. Here’s how to help protect your home and the presents friends and family gave you:

Don’t Put Them on Display

Let’s start with the most obvious: if you have new Christmas toys—whether it’s a new car, new flat screen TV, or something bigger—you may initially feel like showing them off. You’re excited, after all. But the more you display your new things, the more people will know what you have in your home and garage. Try to avoid showing off your new gifts or talking loudly with your neighbors about them. The second, and often overlooked, thing you can do to maintain some privacy is to break up the boxes your large gifts came in before tossing them in the trash. A lot of people will simply drag the empty box, intact, to the curb on or before trash day. This is an obvious sign that you have something in your house that’s probably worth stealing. You might as well be telling possible burglars that you have new, expensive inventory that’s up for grabs.

Keep Your House Closed Off

You don’t need to live in total secrecy, but while you’re out and about, it’s wise to make sure that you’ve drawn the blinds or curtains and closed and locked all doors and windows. If you’ve left the blinds up, you’re allowing potential burglars to take a good look at what’s inside. If they can get a glimpse at some enviable merchandise, there’s a good chance they’ll either break in on the spot, or come back later. Keep prying eyes away before you step out, and close the blinds.

Do a Walk-Through of Your Home

Shutting your blinds won’t do anything if someone can easily gain access to your home. Now, this isn’t to say that because you got a new TV you need to arm your home to the hilt. Let your new gifts motivate you to assess the state of your home. If, by chance, you find weak spots, then you can address them. •  Start outside your home: Look for any cracks in doorways and windows -- essentially, any places that an outsider might be able to look in from. If anything looks cracked or broken on the outside, you should replace it immediately. Next, check the integrity of all outside doors. The reason for this is that most inside doors are hollow and can be easily broken. Outside doors, however, should be dense and very stable. If you have any hollow doors on the outside, be sure to install proper outside doors as soon as you can. • Move inside and check door and window locks. Make sure that all components of the front and back—and any other outside doors—are in working order and are still strong. Window locks should also be in good condition and strongly fastened. If there is any wiggle to the window when it’s locked, it’s time to replace the lock. Be sure to check all windows and windowed doors to make sure that they have proper cover from blinds and/or curtains. As mentioned before, having drawn blinds and curtains while you’re away may prevent anyone from getting a good look at what’s inside.

Assess Your Security System

If during your walk-through you did notice a few cracks in the armor of your home’s security, perhaps it’s time to consider upgrading or installing a security system. If you’re starting from scratch and looking for a security system that will fit with your home, consult a reputable security provider to have a professional come in and put together the best protection plan for you. If you already have a security system, assess how it’s performing and whether it’s lacking in any area. Nowadays, a lot of home security technology syncs with your smartphone and supplements traditional security systems. You can add video feeds and receive text alerts about the state of your home, among many other things. Your new gifts were given with thought and care, so protecting them should go along with your enjoying them. Take time to draw the curtains, break down boxes, and assess the state of your home. You’ll gain peace of mind and support the security of your home.