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Home Security Tips for the Holidays

Posted: December 13, 2017

Have you ever overspent on holiday gifts for your family? If so, you are not alone. According to Investopedia, the average American spent $882 on holiday gifts in 2015. That’s no small amount. But, what should you do with your holiday goodies once the Christmas trees come down? After the tinsel is tightly packed away, you are presented with the fun challenge of what to do with your holiday loot.

Protect your gifts by following these home security tips for the holidays:

  • Keep gifts out of plain view. Leaving a car full of shopping bags makes your vehicle an easy target. Thieves often don’t go to the trouble of breaking in if there’s a possibility they will be walking away empty handed.

  • Make indelible marks of identification. This practice helps with deterrence and identification if items come up missing.

  • Choose unexpected hiding places. Most burglars go straight for the master bedroom and living room because these are common areas to keep your high-priced belongings. Selecting unexpected hiding areas makes it more difficult to locate your coveted items.

  • Arrange for package pickup. This keeps your doorstep from piling up with your purchases. While it might involve an extra drive, you know your packages will make it safely into your home.

  • Park wisely. Make your car highly visible to keep unwanted hands off of your holiday goodies.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Always pay attention to where you’re shopping and the situations that arise around you. Avoiding problematic situations might just be enough to keep you safe.

  • Practice safe shopping tactics. Although it can be an exhausting activity, taking a few extra precautions like concealing packages in your car can save you the hassle of missing items.

  • Avoid social updates. Informing everyone on Facebook that you will be out of town shopping for the weekend is never a good idea. Keep those plans off of social media, at least until after you return.

Whether you are out and about or going the online route, a few extra precautions this holiday season can help keep your new goodies where they belong.

Holiday shopping safety tips

Holiday shopping safety tips

Holiday shopping is chaotic. Faced with an abundance of stores and loaded down with shopping bags, shoppers often burn as many calories making it back to the car as they do during an intense cardio workout. While this may be somewhat functional for exercise, it doesn’t make protecting your purchases any easier. Try out these holiday shopping safety tips to keep yourself and your purchases protected.

  • Pay attention to parking: Park in a well-lit area that can easily be seen from areas with lots of foot traffic. Whether you are making your way to your vehicle with the intent of dropping off or calling it quits, a nicely illuminated area that is easily seen by hoards of shoppers is the way to go.
  • Lock doors and arm your car: This one seems obvious, but double check that your car doors are locked and your security system is armed. While it may not hold off the more determined thief, these are significant deterrents against someone looking for an easy score.
  • Shop in small batches: Keep your holiday shopping loads light. Even if this means unloading at the car. Carting only a few purchases makes it easier to account for all of your purchased items. Also, it’s easier to make a quick grab from a bundle of bags.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Watch out for suspicious activity. If you feel uncomfortable, take appropriate measures to keep yourself safe. Trust your instincts.
  • Keep purchases out of sight: If you must drop purchases off at your car, stow them under seats, in glove compartments, or in the trunk.

Holiday shopping is much more enjoyable if you don’t have to fill out a police report.

Providing protection for your holiday deliveries

Providing protection for your holiday deliveries

eCommerce is on the rise. In 2016, more shoppers made purchases online than in actual stores (51%), according to the Wall Street Journal. Shopping online has so many convenience factors—quick shipping, easy comparison, and to top it off, your purchases are delivered straight to your door! You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your fuzzy socks and pajama pants. However, one inconvenience factor involves making sure your packages make it inside your front door.

Often, packages are delivered during working hours and left on doorsteps with no supervision. During the holiday season, these packages are a prime target for theft. There are a few options for ensuring your packages don’t get swiped before you even have a chance to open the box. Try out these package theft prevention tips:

  • Ask a neighbor to bring in your package
  • Modify the delivery schedule so that someone will be home to accept the delivery
  • Require a signature
  • Use a lockbox or smart locker and pick up at your convenience
  • Try out a package protection service such as Package Guard or Doorman
  • Install an outdoor camera

Check out our other tips for preventing package theft.

Home security tips for protecting holiday loot

Home security tips for protecting holiday loot

It can be tempting to show off your new goods after the holidays are in your rearview. Whether you’ve acquired a brilliant new TV or the latest iPhone, it may actually be best to keep it under wraps.

Follow these steps to help protect your newly acquired holiday loot.

  • Store items out of plain sight: Similar to desirable items in your car, you don’t want to advertise the location of your pretty new goodies for all to see. Draw your blinds or plan to mount your TV somewhere that isn’t directly visible from the street.
  • Choose a location for storage that is unconventional: Most burglaries only take between eight and ten minutes. In that time, burglars typically go for the living room and the master bedroom because that is where the high-priced products often reside. Choose a safe at the bottom of a linen closet or under a child’s bed. These places are less likely to be considered by the usual burglar.
  • Mark your items with identifying symbols: Consider using unique signage or indelible markings on your items. Because these high-tickets items are usually resold for cash, they might be avoided if considered easily identifiable.
  • Use automated lighting: This can be applied to both indoors and outdoors. Keep pathways and points of entrance well lit. Also consider making your home look occupied with lighting. Burglars generally avoid occupied homes.
  • Keep travel plans off of social media: Posting your intentions to be gone for a long period of time is similar to an engraved invitation for someone who might want to grab your holiday loot. Avoid posting these plans on social media to help keep your new acquisitions where they belong—in your home.

Play it safe this holiday season and enjoy your new holiday loot!