The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and spending quality time with loved ones. However, it’s also a time when burglaries and home break-ins are more frequent. According to the FBI, December sees an alarming 18 percent increase in home burglaries, with only 13 percent of cases being solved. As a Bay Area homeowner, it’s crucial to take proactive measures to protect your property and ensure the safety of your family. In this article, we will provide you with seven essential tips for securing your Bay Area home during the holiday season.
1. Maintain a Low Profile on Social Media
In this digital age, it’s tempting to share every aspect of our lives on social media. However, oversharing your holiday plans can make your home a target for burglars. Criminals are becoming increasingly tech-savvy and can easily identify your address and determine when you’ll be away. To protect your home in Bay Area, refrain from posting about your vacation until you return. Instead, opt for private communication channels such as phone calls to update close friends and family. Adjust your privacy settings on social media platforms and disable location services to avoid broadcasting your whereabouts.
2. Be Mindful of Displaying Valuables
Holiday decorations can bring joy and warmth to your home, but they can also attract unwanted attention from burglars. Placing your Christmas tree and presents near windows or other highly visible areas makes it easier for criminals to assess the value of your belongings and plan a break-in. Minimize the temptation by setting up your tree and gifts away from windows or using thick curtains or blinds to conceal your home’s interior from prying eyes. Consider only bringing out the presents on the day of opening to further deter burglars.
3. Discreetly Dispose of Packaging
‘Tis the season of gift-giving, and with it comes the packaging of expensive items that can catch the eye of burglars. Leaving empty boxes on the curb is akin to advertising your newly acquired high-value possessions. Burglars don’t need to see the inside of your home to know what valuables you have. Instead, wait until garbage day to discard boxes or break them down into smaller pieces and conceal them in an opaque trash bag. By discreetly disposing of packaging, you minimize the chances of becoming a target for opportunistic burglars.
4. Safeguard Your Delivered Packages
Online shopping has become increasingly popular, especially during the holiday season. However, leaving delivery instructions for packages to be left on your porch is a risky move. Porch pirates, as they are commonly known, take advantage of unattended packages. Instead, contact the shipping company directly and provide specific instructions on where to leave packages. Alternatively, consider investing in a secure parcel drop box to ensure the safe delivery of your purchases.
5. Avoid Hiding Spare Keys
With the constant flow of family and friends visiting during the holidays, it can be tempting to hide a spare key for their convenience. However, experienced criminals are well aware of common key-hiding spots such as under-potted plants or inside fake outdoor sockets. By leaving spare keys around your home, you provide easy access to intruders once they find them. It’s best to avoid hiding spare keys altogether or consider using alternative methods, such as smart locks or keyless entry systems, to grant access to trusted individuals.
6. Create the Illusion of Occupancy
When you’re away from home for an extended period, it’s important to create the illusion that someone is still there. Smart home technology can be a valuable tool in achieving this. You can remotely control lights, TVs, and other devices to mimic regular activity. Setting up lights on timers is especially effective, as they can be programmed to turn on automatically at specific times. Additionally, investing in a monitored home security system that integrates with motion sensor lights can provide added peace of mind.
7. Enlist the Help of a Trusted Neighbor or Friend
Even with all the precautions in place, a lack of visible activity in your home can raise suspicions among burglars. To combat this, make arrangements with a trusted neighbor or friend to check on your property while you’re away. They can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity and perform simple tasks like shoveling walkways, collecting mail and packages, and taking out the trash. Consider compensating them for their assistance or return the favor when they go on vacation.
In conclusion, securing your Bay Area home during the holiday season requires a combination of common sense, vigilance, and the use of modern security measures. By maintaining a low profile on social media, being mindful of displaying valuables, discreetly disposing of packaging, safeguarding delivered packages, avoiding hiding spare keys, creating the illusion of occupancy, and enlisting the help of trusted neighbors or friends, you can significantly reduce the risk of burglaries and enjoy a safe and worry-free holiday season in your home.