The holidays are just about here, and so is your not-so-friendly neighborhood burglar. Burglars know that during the holidays, there are just more goodies to steal, and not only that, but there’s a lot of traveling away from home. During this time of year, homeowners need to be extra vigilant about protecting their property, and that includes making potential intruders think you’re home rather than away for the holidays.

5HThere are many ways to spruce up the security outside and inside your house:

  1. Most burglars get in through the front door, so equip this with a heavy duty deadbolt/lock system. Look for one that even has a built-in alarm and can be remotely controlled and activated. Nexia™ Home Intelligence is the brains behind remote locking, unlocking and more. This home automation system allows you to control locks, thermostats, lights, cameras and even the new Linear Z-Wave Garage Door Controller, from wherever you and the internet happen to be. Lock or unlock your door from anywhere with your mobile device and receive text or email alerts when an alarm triggers or when specific codes provided to your kids or visitors are entered at the lock.
  2. Intruders occasionally do get through windows, especially if they realize you’re not home and a window is open. A veteran burglar can slip through a window and steal some jewelry faster than you can walk your dog down the street and back.
  3. Keep your lawn manicured. Overgrown grass tells a thief you haven’t been in town for a while. And if you do leave town, arrange for someone to mow your lawn and rake leaves. If snow is expected, arrange to have someone shovel it. These tasks will make it appear you’re not on vacation.
  4. A light that never turns off is a sign you’re not home. Manage your lighting by scheduling it based on time such as sunrise or sunset or activate them remotely with Nexia Home Intelligence.
  5. Have the post office and newspaper delivery do a vacation hold for your mail and paper, respectively.
  6. How many times have you seen in some TV show a family loading up the top of their station wagon, in broad daylight smack in the middle of the driveway, for a vacation? Leave this to TV, and in real life, pack your vehicle inside the garage with the door closed or in the cover of dark, so that casing burglars don’t connect the dots.
  7. Arrange to have someone leave their car in your driveway while you’re gone.
  8. Lock up all your valuables. And even when you’re home, make sure that any piles of holiday presents are not visible from the outside.
  9. It’s a no-brainer, but people actually disregard this golden rule: Lock all possible entries to your house.
  10. Don’t blab on social media about your vacation until after you’ve returned.
  11. Do not reset your voicemail to say something like, “Hi! We’re enjoying the sun and surf in Tahiti for a few weeks, but we’ll be back soon!” Clean out your voicemail mailbox so that it doesn’t say “full.”
  12. If you don’t have one now, invest in a monitored home security system so you can fully relax on that white sandy beach.
  13. Install security cameras that can be remotely viewed on your mobile, tablet or PC through a self-monitored system like Nexia Home Intelligence.
  14. Put “Beware of Dog” signs in a conspicuous place even if you don’t have a dog.

Travel is supposed to be fun and stress free. And it’s always better when you know your home is safe and sound while you are away. Take the time to implement these tips and have a happy holiday season!

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Nexia Home Intelligence discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

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