It’s that time of year when families are in and out of their hustling and bustling in and out of their homes. While we are out shopping, caroling and celebrating, shifty crooks have their eyes wide open watching for an empty house or unattended package on the porch. While Kevin from Home Alone is the ultimate champ of impromptu home security, you may not have a tarantula or a blowtorch handy. Here are some practical tips to prevent break-ins that go beyond locking doors and windows.
Don’t Leave a Spare Key Out
It may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key hidden under a flower pot or doormat in case you get locked out of your house. But that’s an open invitation for a burglar to walk inside without any difficulty. Someone could also see you retrieve the key at some point, giving away your hiding place. Instead, give a spare to a neighbor you know well or friend who lives nearby for safekeeping or keep it in a combination lockbox and hide that somewhere outside.
Keep your Cool Stuff to Yourself
We know you are really excited about the new 500 inch TV, but displaying it where it’s visible through a window is like announcing to thieves that you have awesome stuff to steal. Before throwing away the huge box it came in, it’s a good idea to break it down so it is concealed within the garbage can.
Prepare for Deliveries before You Leave Town
A big pile of newspapers or a stuffed mailbox is a dead giveaway that no one is home. Before you head out of town, arrange for a trusted friend or neighbor pick up your mail, newspapers or deliveries.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Closer-knit neighborhoods generally report fewer break-ins. When your neighbors know who you are, they are more likely to notice any suspicious activity.
Be Careful on Social Media
Remember that what you post on social media is visible to basically the entire world. Be careful about what you post on social media. Posting new pics of your amazing Christmas presents or sharing status updates from your vacation is like advertising that there are amazing Christmas home alone while you’re away.