Don’t Be a Grinch This Holiday Season: Keeping Your Home Safe

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it also presents an increased risk of theft. As the holidays approach, it’s important to take extra precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from becoming victims of theft. To help protect your valuables, there are some steps you can take to help ensure that your holiday season is one of celebration instead of disappointment.

Keep Gifts Out of Sight

Lego minifigures that look like bandits, with a Christmas tree nearby

One of the most important things you can do is to keep gifts out of sight. Not only so those in your home don’t see a sneak peek from Santa but also so that potential burglars don’t target your home. Burglars often target homes where they know there are expensive items waiting to be taken. Try to keep your gifts away from windows or other easily visible spots so they’re not easy to spot. You should also make sure all windows and doors of your vehicle and home are locked at all times, even when you’re home. Don’t leave ladders or other tools outside that could be used to break into your home.

Protect Your Home

Woman checking her smartphone

An alarm system or video recording doorbell is an effective way to deter potential burglars. It works by sending an alert to a monitoring center when someone attempts to enter your home. The monitoring center can then contact both you and the authorities to respond to the alarm. Home alarm systems also have features like motion detectors, door sensors, and window sensors that can detect any intruders and trigger an alarm. These systems are a great way to secure your home and belongings during the holidays. They can help you feel safer and more at ease while enjoying the season with family and friends. You can also set your indoor and outdoor lights and even your televisions to timers, so it always seems like someone is home.

Protect Your Treasures

Be sure to keep an inventory of all your valuables, including photos and serial numbers of the items. Serialized items may include bicycles, jewelry, artwork, designer purses, etc. Remember to also note sentimental items like treasured family photos, birth certificates, and jewelry that has been passed down through the family. You can even consider engraving or using a permanent marker to add an identifiable name and number to certain items. Make sure to lock your doors and keep these important items out of sight.

Get Your Neighbors Involved

If you’re going out of town this holiday season, notify your neighbors and ask if they can stay on the lookout for any suspicious activity. Make a plan for your mail and ask someone to pick up any papers or packages that may be left by your door. A front door cluttered with newspapers, fliers, or packages is a signal the resident is not home.

Be Careful on Social Media

Man and woman on vacation with an ocean view

Another way thieves can target unsuspecting victims is through social media. Posting too much information about your holiday plans online can leave you vulnerable to theft. If you’re planning to travel or go out of town for the holidays, don’t post about it on social media until after you return home. If you do plan to post about going away, be sure to not post locations or addresses. It’s also important to be mindful of what you post online about gifts you have purchased or received. Avoid posting photos or descriptions of high-value items such as jewelry, electronics, or expensive clothing.

Keep Your Vehicle Safe

Car with broken window

Those commercials with the big bow on the brand-new car make us all dream of the day when we’ll get to do that for a loved one. Or when we’ll be on the receiving end of such a big gift! But be sure to keep that vehicle safe throughout the year by following some tried and true rules.

  • Completely roll up your windows.
  • Take your keys with you.
  • Remove your valuables, shopping bags, and gifts.
  • Lock your vehicle.

Hold Packages at the Post Office or Package Room

Another easy way to help prevent theft is, if a neighbor cannot collect it for you, to have your mail and packages held at the post office or package room until you can retrieve them. By having your mail and packages held there, you can avoid leaving them unattended on your porch or doorstep. Thieves often target parcels that are left outside as they are easier to steal without being noticed. When you choose to have your mail and packages held, you can be sure that they will be securely stored until you’re able to pick them up. By taking this extra precaution, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your belongings are safe and secure.

Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open While Shopping

Woman with shopping bags entering her car

It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. If you’re out shopping in California this holiday season, here are some tips to keep in mind to help prevent theft:

  1. Don’t leave valuables in plain sight. Anything that may be valuable to a thief (jewelry, cash, phones, etc.) should be kept in an interior pocket or secure bag when out shopping. Don’t carry too much cash with you and make sure all items are safely tucked away in a secure location.
  2. Be mindful of your surroundings. Pay attention and be aware of the people around you. If something looks suspicious or you feel uncomfortable, it’s best to move on to a different location.
  3. Secure your vehicle. Before leaving your car, double check that all the doors and windows are locked. Don’t leave any valuables in the car and always park in a well-lit area with lots of foot traffic.
  4. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times. Avoid setting down any bags or purses while shopping and make sure to keep them close to your body.

By following these simple tips, you can help protect yourself and your belongings during the holiday season and beyond!

Report Suspicious Activity

Police car with sirens

It is important to know the signs of potential theft, such as people loitering around your vehicle, or anyone trying to break into your home or business. If you notice anything suspicious, contact the authorities immediately. By taking the necessary precautions and staying aware of your surroundings, you can help reduce the chances of becoming a victim of crime this holiday season.

Keep Safe and Happy Holidays from Garden Communities California!