Home Safety Tips for the Holidays

Home Safety & Crime Prevention Tips for the 2012 Holiday Season

Each year as the holidays approach, we are often distracted by the hustle and bustle of festivities.  So, we’d like to share some tips for keeping your home secure and your family safe with My Alarm Center Home Security Services, whether your plans include travel, entertaining or relaxing at home this year.

Home Security & Safety Tips for the Holiday Traveler:

Homes are certainly more susceptible to intrusion when homeowners are traveling, especially for an extended period of time. Here are a few home security tips to help ensure your property is safe, and your home doesn’t become an easy target for burglars while you’re out of town:

Make it look like your home is occupied and active.  It is not necessary to invest in gadgets to make your home look lived in, such as those on FakeTV, featured in Wired Magazine’s Gadget Lab holiday travel safety article this November. Many home security system providers now offer interactive home monitoring and remote home automation – like MyHome, by My Alarm Center – that enable control and management of lights, climate, alarm systems, and surveillance cameras via your mobile device.

Maintain your property.  Simply keeping your driveway and paths clear of snow by arranging for snow removal is important for your own personal safety, and also discourages burglars because it signals someone is home.

Check your outdoor security equipment. Severe winter weather could damage your outdoor equipment. Test your system regularly, and ensure that sensors and video equipment are always free and clear of snow.

Make sure holiday lighting doesn’t create an unsecured entry point to your home. Running a cable from inside the house often requires you to open a window, which is an ideal entry point for a burglar.Use outdoor electrical circuits to run your holiday lighting.

Home Security & Safety Tips for the Holiday Host:

Keep valuables secure when hosting guests. Holiday parties are a great opportunity to welcome new friends and family members. Ensure valuables are stowed away and lock up items that could pose a threat to children such as medicine and gun cabinets.

Dispose of gift packaging.  Don’t advertise the contents of your home to burglars, dispose of your gift packaging in black bags so a burglar can’t see what new goodies are in your home.

Personal Safety Tips

Protect your identity. Always shred your receipts (but not important warranty information). Don’t give burglars a chance to steal your identity.  Investing in identity theft protection services through companies like TrustedID, a My Alarm Center partner, is an effective option to help protect you against identity theft not only during the holidays but all year-round.

Stay in the know. Keep aware of crime trends locally (especially as crime tends to increase during the holidays); it’s often helpful to follow local crime alerts and updates via local authorities and via sites like Patch.com and others. For example:

·        Patch.com for Bellevue, WA outside of Seattle, Washington

·         Patch.com for Radnor, PA outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Doing holiday shopping? Thieves are out shopping too.  Don’t buy more than you can carry to your car in one trip, as thieves are often on the lookout for shoppers making multiple trips to their car. Seattle Police recommend making sure that anything of value inside your car is stored completely out of sight. The Philadelphia Police department advises shoppers to be aware of crime risks in-person as well as online, listing several helpful tips to keep purchases and credit and debit card data secure during the holidays. Local news sources like CBS Philly post even more great tips to ensure holiday shopping safety such as how to avoid becoming a victim of the latest trends in scams, or fake Facebook promotions and even mobile apps designed to gather personal data.

Have a tip you’d like to share? Email us at blog@myalarmcenter.com with suggestions for our next holiday safety blog post!

Thanks for taking time to observe these simple tips, and enjoy a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Happy Holidays,

Your Friends at My Alarm Center