People complain about all the stress that comes with the holiday season: the in-laws, the expense of buying gifts, figuring out what to buy, travel, reunions with people they don’t like… 5HBut trust me on this: You’ll take you’re ever-criticizing in-laws and bratty nephew any day over a burglar who turns your holiday plans into a nightmare. So here’s how to protect your home:

  • First, make your home looked occupied at all times, even overnight. Ideally, a timed light in the kitchen could make burglars think someone’s up for a late night Christmas cookie binge. When you’re away, use timed lighting devices.
  • If you’re traveling, arrange for a vacation hold for newspaper and mail deliveries.
  • Keep all doors and windows locked at all times, even if you’re in and out. This includes the garage door.
  • Protect windows with special film that prevents penetration by an intruder.
  • Beef up your doors security. Think “door reinforcement technology” Think “Door Devil”. Your door jamb, where your lock bolts is made of ½ inch to ¾ inch flimsy pine. A 10 year old can kick in your door. But not if it’s beefed up with reinforcement. I’ve donethis to ALL my doors.
  • Figure out which drapes and blinds you don’t need open, and then keep them closed at all times.
  • Plant thorny shrubs close to windows.
  • Put your home security system’s sign on the front lawn, and one in the back, and its stickers on your windows.
  • You DO have a home security system, right? If not, get one. The security systems of today are not like the ones of times past that required hours of installation involving tearing out the walls to put in the wires.
  • If you can’t afford one, then at least put up the sign and stickers, which you can find somewhere if you look hard enough, perhaps some extra ones from friends who have systems.
  • And about your doors and windows: Have you checked the locks? Make sure they’re top-of-the-line.
  • If there are no men in the house, ask a male friend if he has any workboots he’d like to get rid of; put them outside your door, but make sure this doesn’t look staged.
  • Also put out an old-looking tool box and a strewn pair of men’s work gloves near the front door or on your patio.
  • Use your garage for cover: Do all loading of luggage inside with the door closed.
  • Before traveling, arrange with someone to shovel your driveway to make it look like someone’s home.
  • It’s amazing how many people blurt on their Facebook page their travel plans. Did you know that some burglars will spend hours perusing Facebook to see whose home will be empty, and then will get the exact location using the GPS tags on family photos? A photo of your dog can lead a burglar straight to your front door.
  • Make sure nobody from outside can peer in and see the gifts under your tree. When you read about a robbery of all the presents under a tree, you can bet that the pile was easily visible through a window.
  • Never create voice mail messages that imply that you’re not inside the house.
  • Arrange for someone to leave their car parked in your drive while you’re traveling.
  • If your car is always parked outside, make the interior gender-neutral so that a sociopath doesn’t think that no man possibly lives there.
  • The least likely place a burglar will check a house for valuables is a child’s bedroom. Hide your jewels inside your preschooler’s socks, or really, get a safe!

Robert Siciliano is a home and personal security expert to DoorDevil.com discussing Anti-Kick door reinforcement on YouTube. Disclosures.

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