Secure Your Home During the Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year can easily transform into a nightmare. Being vigilant, while still enjoying the holiday season, is possible. The holiday season is the perfect time to start implementing security measures to protect one’s home and ensure security while out and about.

There are 2.5 million burglaries a year in the U.S. and the majority occur during the day. 75 percent of residential burglaries occur when no one is present. Homes with no security system are 300 percent more likely to be robbed and only 50 percent of Americans have a residential security system.

Residential cameras and alarm systems are highly recommended.

Home Holiday Tips:

  • Conduct a security check of your home by walking around your property. Look for weak points of entry, such as a door that does not lock properly or an unlocked window.
  • Secure outdoor movable items, like bicycles, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, power tools, barbecues, and ladders. If possible, secure them in the garage or storage shed.
  • Check the lighting on your property. Consider installing motion sensor LED lights around the exterior of the house.
  • Trim overgrown shrubs to deter individuals from hiding.
  • Lock vehicles and remove items that can be seen, like loose change, sunglasses, electronic devices such as cell phones, iPads and laptops, GPS portable devices, dash-mounted units, and all packages. Note: A gun is taken from a car every 15 minutes; the most common source of stolen guns is cars parked at home.
  • Hide the garage opener so it cannot be seen by those passing by. Take it inside the house and make a habit of taking it in and out of the house.
  • Set timers on interior lights. Giving the impression that someone is home can help in deterring burglars, who often look for crimes of opportunity.
  • When traveling for the holidays, do not make it evident to criminals. Arrange for someone to move the trash can on designated days, pick up newspaper, mail, packages, and anything left at door.
  • Park a vehicle in the driveway. Keeping an extra vehicle in the driveway or asking a neighbor to park their vehicle might help deter potential burglars.
  • Lock your garage. It may seem like a closed garage door is automatically secure, but that is not the case. A garage door can easily be forced open when the safety release mechanism is flipped. To prevent this, disable the electric opener or install a padlock on the overhead door latch. Another simple solution is to slide a bolt through a hole in the track.
  • Do not advertise on social media about vacation plans before and during, as criminals monitor these sites.
  • Rely on your friends for help. Ask someone you trust to visit your house regularly while you are gone to give your home that lived-in feel.

The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year, as long as you stay safe. Follow these holiday tips and enjoy this special season.

About the Author

Patrick V. Fiel Sr. is a national security expert, he has over 40 years of experience managing law enforcement and security organizations. He is retired from the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He is available to speak on the Active Shooter and best practices. Patrick can be reached at 910-789-4265 or pvfiel@gmail.com

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