Holiday burglary stories are already sweeping the news wires, with reports of presents (both wrapped and unwrapped
) falling victim to intruders who step up their activities this time of year
. Local law enforcement agencies are rising to the challenge, with proactive campaigns to get out the word on how to make it tougher on residential criminals
. A recent set of holiday home security recommendations from the police in Lewisville, Texas
caught my eye, so here you have it: one more timely set of tips on how to increase your peace of mind
when your schedule includes travel, trees, time off, shopping, and celebrating.
Lewisville officers said the number one cause for burglaries is people advertising their travel plans on social media sites. Officer Jesse Flores said that is one of the biggest mistakes people can make. "You shouldn't tip people off that your home will be empty," Flores said. "It's also one of the easiest fixes; just don't post that information on social networks like Facebook or Twitter."
I could not agree more. In fact, check out FrontPoint’s post on the topic ofholiday social media tips.
More Great Advice
In order for a home not to appear empty, officers also suggested that residents stop their mail service and alert a trusted neighbor about holiday travel plans. Residents should also leave emergency contact information with a neighbor in case of emergencies. Lewisville residents also have the option of putting their home on police house watch if they will be out of town during the holidays. The LPD offers a home watch service that residents may sign up for online.
Details on House Watch
"If you put your home on a house watch, you will provide us with the dates you'll be gone and give emergency contact information," said Officer Cindy Coyle. "Officers will drive by the home at least once a day while the resident is out of town." Officers also offered advice for residents who will stay in town during the holidays.
Think Like a Burglar to Protect Yourself
With more and more people shopping online for Christmas gifts, officers reminded residents to be diligent about bringing packages inside right away. "If you know you won't be home during a designated delivery, ask a trusted neighbor to bring the package in for you," said Greg Stern, neighborhood resource officer. "One year we had thieves who followed UPS trucks around just waiting to steal packages from homes with no one home."
Appearances Matter – Even for Your Home
Officers also said residents should leave their blinds closed to the outside during the day so would-be thieves can't see into the home. Leaving the porch light on is also an easy way to possibly deter thieves. Officers said lights on timers are an added bonus for homes. They said some kind of light timer is inexpensive and can be very effective.
And of course the best timers are the ones you can control remotely, even with a free app on your smart phone. The best alarm companies offer these services.
Another Police Department Recommends Home Alarm Systems
"Stern also reminded residents that home security alarms can be effective in deterring burglars. The majority of home break-ins occur during the daytime when thieves assume no one is home. Officers advised residents who are at home during the day to adhere to the following advice. "If you're at home during the day and someone knocks on your door, don't just open the door to speak to them," Coyle said. "Peepholes are very effective. If you don't have one, do your best to see who is at the door before opening it."
FrontPoint cares about your safety and peace of mind – after all, protecting homes and families is our highest priority. We’ll keep on sharing great tips when we find them: it’s our goal to be your resource for crime statistics, burglar behaviors, and the latest technologies to thwart intruders. After all, FrontPoint is the only alarm company in the country to use safer cellular monitoring on every system we sell – and charge less for it. But what people really know us for is our smarter Interactive level of monitoring. Make sure your home is protected: by FrontPoint, the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.