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Top 10 Holiday Home Security Tips

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December 6, 2011
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Top 10 Holiday Home Security Tips

With Thanksgiving under our belts (in a literal sense!), the holiday season is in full swing. Travel, busy party schedules, and shopping can leave homes unoccupied. We know that residential crime spikes over the holidays: it’s dark earlier, homes are full of presents, and burglars are especially active, so you need to make sure to secure your property and give yourself some well-deserved peace of mind while you are away from home – even if you’re just at the mall. This Top 10 Home Security Checklist only takes a few minutes to review: it’s definitely worth the read, and you’ll be safer after you take these precautionary steps.

  1. Think Like a Burglar. Look objectively at your home and try to find a way in. Ladder left outside? Put it away. Shrubs to hide behind, or trees to climb that give access to upstairs? Vents? Dog doors? Get creative – and sneaky! For those considering home security systems: burglars do cut phone lines, so always choose safer cellular monitoring.
  2. Watch Out for Social Media TMI. Be very careful about what you post - you never know who is reading your travel plans or your party schedule, and criminals have become very savvy about using Facebook and other media to chart your whereabouts. Pass this tip onto your children. And beware identity theft as well: this is a favorite time of year for fake charities to part you from your money, and from your SSN, credit card numbers, etc. while they are at it.
  3. Doors, Windows, and Locks. The front or back door is the most common point of entry by a burglar. Be sure your doors are locked: as many as 40% of burglaries occur through an unlocked door or window. Remember to use that deadbolt to back up the primary lock. Unlocked ground floor windows are a frequent point of entry, especially at the back and sides of the house. For home security owners, one glassbreak sensor can cover many windows in an area. The door from the garage into the house also deserves a good lock – preferably a deadbolt. Here’s a great post on where intruders break in.
  4. Keys and Keychains. Chances are your hidden key is not so hard to find: have your friends guess –you’ll likely need to be a bit more creative. And don’t put an address on your keys. A keychain without an address is useless to a burglar, but with your address it’s a personalized invitation to your home.
  5. Light It Up. The last thing a burglar wants is to be seen. Exterior lights (especially the ones that are activated by motion) are a great deterrent to intruders, who focus on the rear and sides of your home – which is why alarm company professionals focus on those areas when designing a good system. And use interactive services to control the lights in your home, set to go on at different or even random times.
  6. Know Your Neighbors.  It really helps if we are looking out for each other. Are any of your neighbors staying home – and could they keep an eye on your home? Perhaps they’ll even park a car in your driveway. Some people even ask a neighbor leave tire tracks in your driveway after a fresh snowfall. Encourage neighbors to report suspicious behavior – to a would-be burglar, a patrolling squad car is a very powerful message to “Move on!”
  7. Papers, Snow, Mail, etc. Nothing is more inviting to a bad guy than the “We’re away!” message. And speaking of neighbors, they appreciate it if your house looks loved and lived-in. Cancel deliveries or task a friend to keep things ship-shape. You can repay the favor and shovel for a neighbor when they go away!
  8. Close Those Curtains. Make it harder to see the expensive presents that are accumulating under the tree. And once the computers and fancy electronics come out of their boxes, think hard about when and where you put those boxes outside: they are a clear advertisement for burglars casing the neighborhood.
  9. Fire, Low Temperature, and Water. Today’s home alarm systems can monitor all types of environmental conditions. Fire monitoring is a good place to start: when you’re away, those “noisemaker” alarms won’t do much good. Some systems can even alert you by text or email for events like low temperature, to help you avoid frozen pipes – or alert you if water does accumulate in your basement.
  10. Arm your Alarm System. Just as with your door and window locks, even the best alarm system is no help unless it’s used. Believe it or not, almost half the people with alarm systems do not arm them on a regular basis. When you are completely out of the home, remember to arm the system in the “Away” mode – that way, all your sensors are engaged. The best systems allow you to arm from anywhere – with free mobile apps.

These are 10 recommendations that we like – but you may have others, and we encourage you to share them here. What makes you feel more secure at home? For some people it’s a dog: for others it could be bars on the windows. The approach can be very personal. FrontPoint does offer a universal solution, with home security that is safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – and while protecting our homes and families has never been more important, it’s never been this easy. That’s why FrontPoint is the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.

 

 

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Comments
Amatullah Al-Mahdi
December 9, 2011 at 8:52 PM
Alert clients to setting UPS or FedX trucks-when they are not making a delivery something is wrong.
Peter M. Rogers
December 14, 2011 at 2:31 AM
Interesting, and thanks for pointing out that. I had not heard that advice before, but then again, that is what this forum is for - helping each other attain greater peace of mind through better home security.
Jace
December 20, 2011 at 5:09 AM
Sorry, I have no idea what Amatullah is saying?
Peter M. Rogers
December 21, 2011 at 1:08 AM
I think the comment is referring to delivery vehicles that may be suspect - although I think that's a long shot, even at this time of year when the delivery services need to hire seasonal employees to handle the additional workload.
Amatullah Al-Mahdi
December 9, 2011 at 8:52 PM
Alert clients to setting UPS or FedX trucks-when they are not making a delivery something is wrong.
Peter M. Rogers
December 14, 2011 at 2:31 AM
Interesting, and thanks for pointing out that. I had not heard that advice before, but then again, that is what this forum is for - helping each other attain greater peace of mind through better home security.
Jace
December 20, 2011 at 5:09 AM
Sorry, I have no idea what Amatullah is saying?
Peter M. Rogers
December 21, 2011 at 1:08 AM
I think the comment is referring to delivery vehicles that may be suspect - although I think that's a long shot, even at this time of year when the delivery services need to hire seasonal employees to handle the additional workload.
Linda H (from CJ)
December 20, 2011 at 12:27 AM
"Setting" or "Sitting?" Is he talking about a UPS or Fedex truck that is sitting at the curb? I mean, wouldn't that have to involve a stolen UPS or Fedex truck? I can't imagine a driver of any of either company also being someone who would "break and enter." Too much to lose in an economy where losing your job could be the end of your financial freedom!
Peter M. Rogers
December 21, 2011 at 1:13 AM
I agree - the odds are slim that a delivery person is going to jeopardize their career by doing something that stupid. Then again, the delivery servies hire a large number of seasonal employees for the holidays, so the person in that vehicle may not be your normal route driver. But the odds are still very low - and thanks for making that point.
Linda H (from CJ)
December 20, 2011 at 12:27 AM
"Setting" or "Sitting?" Is he talking about a UPS or Fedex truck that is sitting at the curb? I mean, wouldn't that have to involve a stolen UPS or Fedex truck? I can't imagine a driver of any of either company also being someone who would "break and enter." Too much to lose in an economy where losing your job could be the end of your financial freedom!
Peter M. Rogers
December 21, 2011 at 1:13 AM
I agree - the odds are slim that a delivery person is going to jeopardize their career by doing something that stupid. Then again, the delivery servies hire a large number of seasonal employees for the holidays, so the person in that vehicle may not be your normal route driver. But the odds are still very low - and thanks for making that point.
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