Whether you are staying home this year or visiting family, SGI wants you, your family and your home to be safe. With these ten tips, you can help ensure the safety of the things that matter most to you.
#1 – Make sure your gifts and valuables are not visible from the street. If a criminal can easily see what is in your home, you increase the chance they will be tempted to come inside to steal the items.
#2 – Put your holiday lights on an automatic timer. This prevents thieves from “learning” your habits by taking note of when your lights are turned on and off. It is also a good idea to put your indoor lights on an automatic timer if you are vacationing for the holidays.
#3 – Secure your home. Make sure all your doors and windows have functioning locks. The easiest way for thieves to get into your home is through welcoming unlocked doors and windows. The number one method of entry in all burglary cases is through the front door. Number two, a back or side door.
#4 – Do not run extension cords for holiday lights through windows. Running extension cords through windows means that window cannot close and latch completely. This makes the window an easy entry point for burglars.
#5 – Suspend mail service or have a trusted friend or family member pick up your mail and newspapers. If you are going out of town, get someone you trust to check on your house and pick up your mail and newspapers. Nothing tells a thief you are not home like a week’s worth of newspapers on your driveway.
#6 – Do not post your holiday travel plans online. Broadcasting the location or duration of your trip on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be dangerous. It may be something exciting you really want to share, but be aware that you are blatantly telling criminals, “I’m not home”.
#7 – Add video monitoring to your security system. Pairing video monitoring like our VIDGUARD service allows you to check in on your house no matter where you are during the holidays. Since you cannot always depend on battery life or cellular signal while traveling, SGI offers short-term VIDGUARD services aimed at residential customers looking for an extra set of eyes and some peace of mind while away from home. It’s the next best thing to being there, or having a full-blown guard detail.
#8 – Be wary of people going door-to-door soliciting donations. This is a common ruse used by criminals. Ask to see an I.D. that connects them with the charity. Don’t feel pressured to give, trust your instincts and never give cash. Call 911 if you believe something is not right.
#9 – Don’t advertise the gifts you received. Placing your empty boxes outside for pickup shows thieves what is available inside your home. We definitely encourage you to recycle, but be smart about it. Break the boxes down, turn them inside out, put them in your trash receptacle and don’t place them on the curb until collection day.
#10 – Use caution ALWAYS. We often forget around this time of year that crime we deal with daily increases as our daily activities increase. From forgetting to lock your car at The Mall, to leaving your car running on the driveway while you empty the trunk. Be cautious not to allow thieves to capitalize on the little things we may feel safe doing throughout the rest of the year.